Archive for Thursday, April 6, 2006

On the hunt

Sweet treats, prizes attract area children

April 6, 2006

Allison Miller, at the ripe old age of 3, was a veteran of two Basehor Lions Club Easter egg hunts.

So last Saturday, Allison was poised to show her 14-month-old sister, Madison Daniels, the ropes during Madison's first Easter egg hunt.

"She's a pro at this," Diane Treff, one of the girls' grandmothers said about Allison. "This is her third year, and she's going to show her sissy how to do this."

Allison and Madison joined other children of all ages in the annual hunt outside Basehor's VFW Hall.

The eager children, swinging colorful baskets, spent the last few minutes before the hunt figuring out how they could pick up the most candy and maybe even find one of the prize eggs to receive a big chocolate bunny.

"Look really closely to see if you can see the eggs and the candy," Velvet Miller of Tonganoxie, another of the girls' grandmothers, said to Allison, pointing to the candy-strewn lawn beside the VFW Hall.

According to Jeff Storms, treasurer of the Lions Club, members spread at least 100 pounds of candy on the lawn for the hunt, which has been held for more than 30 years.

"I know some of the parents of kids that are here now used to participate in this hunt when they were younger," Storms said. "We do the same thing every year, and the kids love it."

After explaining the rules and breaking the children up into four different age groups, the eager egg hunters were given the OK and off they scattered. Many parents took the opportunity to capture some Kodak moments as the children added more candy to their baskets.

Amy Carter snapped a few photos of her daughter, Isabelle Carter, 10 1/2 months, as she sat in the grass picking up a few pieces of candy here and there with a little coaxing from Mom.

"This is her very first Easter," Amy Carter said.

The family brought the whole gang out, including nieces, nephews and cousins, to join the egg hunt, visit grandparents and Basehor residents, Tom and Barb Brown and enjoy a pancake breakfast provided by the Lions Club before the event.

"We've been coming to this for many years," Barb Brown said. "Tom helps serve the pancake breakfast before the hunt."

One by one, each of the three prize eggs was discovered, chocolate bunnies were rewarded and ecstatic children ran to show mom and dad what they had won. As the excitement of the hunt began to die down, some children could not wait to dive into their candy.

Twenty-month-old Mandy Wilson carried her pink basket in one hand, a Tootsie Pop in the other hand and a Dum Dum Pop in her mouth as she walked around picking up some of the few remaining peppermints and Tootsie Rolls. Her mother, Tammy Wilson, said the Easter egg hunt was a success.

"No chocolate bunny, but that's OK," Tammy Wilson said laughing. "I think she had fun."

As the children depleted the lawn of its candy, Storms called the children back from their candy collecting to tell them where they could find the grand prize egg, then sent them hunting again. After several minutes of searching, George Davis, a fifth-grader, discovered what they were all looking for.

"I found it!" Davis said, raising the yellow grand prize egg into the air.

He soon became a local celebrity as his fellow egg hunters gathered around him to see the grand prize he had won, which was the largest of four chocolate bunnies given out during the event.

After the hunt, many residents and visitors stayed to chat or pick up any overlooked candy that remained on the lawn.

The generosity and hard work of the Lions Club, along with the cooperative weather and large turnout not only made this year's Easter Egg Hunt a success, but left the happy children looking forward to next year's event.

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