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Annual Kiwanis Egg Hunt Draws Crowd
Moving quickly and efficiently, the Escalon Kiwanis and Key Club members had some 1,500 eggs boiled, colored, cooled and ready to hide within a relatively short period of time on Friday morning.

The eggs were then moved to the campus of El Portal Middle School and crews were out early Saturday morning, hiding the hard-boiled variety with a few plastic eggs, which could be redeemed for prize Easter baskets.

The annual Kiwanis Club Easter Egg Hunt drew roughly 200 youngsters and, once the countdown from 10 was complete and kids rushed the fields at El Portal, the swarm picked up the eggs in record time.

The Easter Bunny was also on hand for photos and hugs and each child taking part in the Saturday morning egg hut received a goody bag with some candy and other treats.

Three separate age groups had designated hunt areas, one set aside for those from birth up to 4-years-old, one area for 5- to 7-year-olds and one for the oldest hunting group, 8- to 11-year-olds.

"There are 1500 eggs out there," said Key Club advisor Rick Heflin from Escalon High School as he gathered the youngsters for some instruction before sending them off on the hunt. "There's enough for everybody, so share, and don't knock each other over."

Key Club, which is the youth arm of Kiwanis, sent several members to assist with the Friday egg coloring and the Saturday egg hunt.

"It was just really fun," said junior Katie Heflin of being involved in the egg coloring and decorating process. "We did different designs."

Junior Zachary Sweyd was helping out for the first time and said he has enjoyed being involved in Key Club this school year.

"I like the variety of doing all the different things we do, recycling and the Easter egg hunt."

In his second year with Key Club, sophomore Travis James said it's a good way to get involved and help the community. He served as a sign holder, marking the area for one of the age groups, prior to the Saturday morning hunt and also worked on Friday with the coloring crew.

"It was fun, just to hang out and color eggs with people," he said.

Kiwanis Club President Tom Lester said the crowd came out, despite very chilly weather on Saturday.

"We had 225 little goody bags and they're all gone," Lester said. "This is pretty typical, it was a great turnout."

Eggs for the event were donated by SKS Enterprises.

Dorinda Melo was attending for the second time with young Aydun Melo, who was eagerly hunting eggs this year.

"I love it," Dorinda said. "It's great for the kids just to be interacting with the other kids."

She planned to use the eggs Aydun found to supplement others she planned on coloring for a second egg hunt on Easter Sunday at her in-laws house.

There were enough eggs to go around so everyone got some, and there were two prize eggs redeemable for Easter baskets hidden in each of the three different age group hunt areas.

The hunt was a success, said organizers, and Escalon High senior Joel Alcaraz said he was glad to play a role in it.

"We get to connect with people from all across the spectrum," Alcaraz pointed out of being involved with the Key Club at EHS. "I enjoy helping the community and this is a really great way to give back to a community that has given so much to us."