The air was a bit chilly with a breeze but the skies were blue and there were just a few puffy clouds – basically making perfect conditions for the Saturday morning egg hunt at El Portal Middle School.
The annual pre-Easter event staged on April 20 for community youngsters drew in dozens of egg hunters, divided into four different age groups and each group directed to a specific area of the expansive grounds behind the school buildings on First Street.
Organized each year by the Escalon Kiwanis Club with assistance from the Escalon High School Key Club and FFA, this year saw 1,800 candy-filled plastic eggs hidden among the four different hunting areas. Mixed in with them were 116 ‘golden’ eggs, redeemable for special Easter gift baskets.
Also featured were 288 gift bags, enough to present each participant with a small goodie bag to take home with them.
All attendees were asked to bring their own basket or bucket for hunting the eggs and, after getting the kids lined up, high school volunteers led each of the individual age groups to their hunting area. When the car horn sounded, it was time to take off on the hunt.
There typically isn’t much time wasted, as the eager egg gatherers hit their assigned area.
Several years ago, the eggs hidden were the hard-boiled variety, with high schoolers spending all day Saturday coloring the eggs. But with concern over many of those collected taken home and eventually going to waste, the decision was made to switch to brightly colored plastic eggs and fill them with some candy. That way, the treats are eaten and the eggs can be utilized in future years as well.
The Easter Bunny made an appearance on Saturday and posed for photos, the Kiwanis Club offered up a refreshment area with coffee, juice and pastries – staffed by Club President Peter Krumeich and two of his children, Elias, 5, and Amaya, 4.
The hunt itself began at 10 a.m. and, within just a few minutes, all the golden eggs had been gathered and the finders lined up to receive their special Easter basket.
One group of attendees – the Beeman family of Escalon (and kids and grandkids from various other locales) – indicated their appreciation for the event and how well it was run, thanking especially the high school students for their efforts.
Kiwanis Club members also said they were pleased with how smoothly the event went off this year, echoing the thanks to the high school groups that assist.