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Annual Egg Hunt A Hit
There may have been 2000 eggs scattered around the grounds at El Portal Middle School on Saturday morning ... but it didn't take long for the crowd of kids to fan out and scoop them all up, placing the brightly colored eggs in baskets, bags and buckets.

It was the annual Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by the Escalon Kiwanis Club, with assistance from Key Club members. Many members, in fact, spent a good part of their day on Friday dipping the eggs into a variety of colors to decorate them.

"Two thousand eggs," said Kiwanis Club President Tom Lester of how many the volunteers were kept busy, boiling and coloring.

On Saturday, the school campus was divided into three sections for the hunt, with one area set aside for those from birth to 4-years-old, another for 5- to 8-year-olds and the final area for 9- to 12-year-olds. In each area, two special eggs were hidden, plastic eggs good for the big gift basket. Otherwise, those hunting were able to take home the hard-boiled eggs and received a gift bag of candy and other treats as well.

Jill (Ainsworth) Mansfield was attending with son Lincoln, 2 ½, who was enjoying his first ever Easter egg hunt at the school.

"It was fun, he loved it and he found a lot of eggs," she said.

Ten-year-old Madison Pence was lucky enough to find the prize egg and was excited with her big gift basket.

"I found it up in a tree," said the Dent fifth grader of the specially marked egg. "This is my first time here, my friend said it was fun."

Friend Marisol Diaz, 11, said she has been attending for about three years.

"I keep on trying," Diaz said of finding the prize egg. "If I get lucky, some day I'll find it."

Hunters planned to use their eggs in a variety of ways; egg salad, deviled eggs or just eating as is. The Easter Bunny was on hand for photos and visits and the hunt did not disappoint.

"I was really surprised with how many kids there were," admitted Lester, who hopped up on a table, megaphone in hand, to outline the procedures. "It was great."

He also thanked the Key Club members from the high school for assisting, both with the Friday coloring and helping facilitate the hunt on Saturday.

"We support the Key Club and the Key Club supports us," he said.

Eggs for the event were donated by SKS Enterprises and the Kiwanis Club purchased the special gift baskets.

"A lot," was the answer that Aliana Pence, 4, gave when asked how may eggs she found. "We're going to crack them."

Big sister Nevaeh, 5, liked finding the eggs and was looking forward to making them into deviled eggs to eat.