Local ‘Eggstravaganza’ celebrates Easter –
Story by Patricia Beech –
Photos by Kimberly Browning –
Eggs, eggs, and more eggs! Hundreds of children turned out in full force to hunt for the colorful holiday treats that were the main attraction of the recent Easter “eggstravaganza” at the Wilson Children’s Home in West Union.
Sponsored by the Adams County Children Services and the Wilson Children’s Home, the 25th annual event included an Easter play and photos with the Easter Bunny, in addition to the egg hunt.
To ensure that no child is left behind during the popular Easter event, the children are divided into age groups from “walking” to 10 years old.
After collecting their eggs, each of the children cashed them in to receive a special Easter gift – a bird house stuffed with candy. Every child was also eligible to win one of the main prizes – which included a variety of age and gender appropriate games, toys, stuffed animals, and bicycles.
“After 25 years this egg hunt has become a local tradition,” said the event coordinator, Tina Gordley. “People expect it every year and we begin getting phone calls weeks beforehand from people asking if and when it will happen.”
Gordley, who is the Administrative Assistant for the Adams County Children’s Services, says while the Egg Hunt provides loads of fun for the children, it also addresses an even greater social need.
“I think the Egg Hunt gives kids a chance to get out and meet people and experience a community event,” she said. “It may be the first time some of them have received an Easter basket or attended an Easter event because many local families cannot extend their funds to include such extras. We’re trying to give those children a chance to have what other kids have.”
Gordley and her staff of helpers begin planning early for the yearly event.
“We send out a letter to our sponsors two months prior to the hunt, and they begin sending in their donations,” she says. “Local businesses are very generous with us monetarily, and many people donate Easter baskets and toys and we make use of all that we’re given.”
People were equally generous with their time says Gordley, who enlisted volunteers from the ranks of the Salvation Army.
“They were a huge help this year,” said Gordley. “They helped register the kids, they helped with the clean up, and they did an Easter skit on the front lawn which kept the kids occupied while we were preparing the Egg Hunt.
Coordinating the Egg Hunt involves a lot of work and time, but Gordley and her sister Kim Browning agree it’s worth the effort.
“This year was the Egg Hunt’s 25th anniversary of the event, and each year I’ve been involved it keeps growing,” said Browning. “It’s always wonderful to see the community come together for the good of our children.”
Gordley agrees. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot fun to watch the kids. I hope we can continue to have it and have a great day like we did this year,” she says. “We had great weather and great people to make it all happen for the kids.
More than 80 individuals and businesses donated to the event including: the Easter Bunny, AAA Sanitation, AFSCME Local 3211, Adams County Building & Loan, Adams County Clerk of Courts – Larry Heller, Adams County Common Pleas/Probate/Juvenile Staff, Holly Johnson, Adams County Economic & Community Development, Adams County Job & Family Services, Arrowhead’s Carwash, Attorney John Caldwell, Attorney Lisa Rothwell, B.B. & E. Inc., Bailey Animal Clinic, Barry’s Chevrolet, Blake Pharmacy, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Campton Cabinetry, Cedar Works/Pennington Seed, Chamblin Furniture, Church 180, Cincinnati Reds, Columbus Crew, Commac Foods, COSI, Countyline Carryout, Creation Museum, Davis Barber Shop, Dr. Langston McKenna, Family Dollar, Family Indulgence Salon, FC Cincinnati, First State Bank, General Electric, Greene’s Chiropractic, Insurance Exchange, Kings Island, Kroger, Lafferty Funeral Home, Link Insurance, Lloyd’s Excavating, McCoy Lumber, McDonald’s, McNeilan Trash Removal, Mosier’s Furniture & Appliance, National Bank of Adams County, Newport Aquarium, Opticare Vision Center, Peebles Lions Club, Peebles Monument Company, People’s Defender, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company, Prather’s IGA, Richmond Insurance Agency, Roush Insurance Agency, Salvation Army, Save A Lot – West Union, Shawnee Mental Health Center, Shear Magic, Shupert’s Tire Service, Signature Real Estate Properties, Speedway/Super America, State Farm Insurance, Swayne Air Conditioning & Heating, The Beach Waterpark, Thompson Meeker Funeral Home, Town & Country, Travco, Unger Construction, Union Hill Church, W.U. Electric & Plumbing, Wallingford Surveyors, West Union Flower Shop, West Union’s Lions Club, Williams Construction, Wilson Realtors, Winchester Wholesale, Women Helping Women, and the ACCS Staff and Families.