Easter Egg Hunt

OAK GROVE – Sunday’s sunny weather was tailor-made for an Easter egg hunt, and the Oak Grove community wasn’t disappointed as hundreds of children gathered baskets of colorful, candy-filled plastic eggs from the lawn of the Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department.

“The egg hunts began around 1956, so they’ve been going on for more than 50 years now,” said Dick Sams, a former chief of the Oak Grove VFD.

He said the event has become a tradition that many parents who attended Sunday’s egg hunt with their children remember participating in when they were kids.

“Our kids were doing this when they were young, and one of my sons is 36 years old now,” said current assistant fire chief Mike Harris. “But we used to have hard-boiled eggs that members of the community would donate. We’d color the eggs and then set them out for the egg hunt.”

He said the annual Easter egg hunt and “Santa Run” at Christmas are two events designed to thank the community for its support of the department.

“We try to give something back because the community is so generous with their support,” Harris said.

Caleb and Andrea Runion were attending their first Oak Grove Easter egg hunt Sunday with 2-year-old daughter Sophia.

“We just recently moved into this area, and we like it,” Andrea said. “And we’re meeting a lot of our new neighbors at this egg hunt.”

Josh Farley, of Reno, brought his 2-year-old son Joel to the egg hunt.

“This is our first time here, and it’s pretty nice,” Farley said. “All the kids have been sharing their eggs with each other so everyone gets a prize ticket.”

Sams explained that, while many of the eggs were filled with candy, some also contained a numbered slip of paper that qualified the child to pick out a special prize from a pile of gifts inside the fire department.

He said proceeds from the department’s annual ice cream social helps fund the yearly Easter egg hunts. Sams added that the event also gives kids from the community a chance to get an up-close view of the department’s fire and rescue vehicles.

Easter Egg Hunt

VOLCANO – Under sunny skies and summer temperatures, more than 400 children participated in the annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday at Mountwood Park, organizers said.

Lori Arthur, organizer of the hunt, said planners were ready for the crowd.

“We had 5,000 eggs and we started in January,” she said. “They were filled by volunteers from the Friends of Mountwood, the Route 50-31 Deerwalk Association and a student, Julie Bland, who was doing this as a project for the Junior National Honor Society at Hamilton Middle School.”

Jeremy Cross, Wood County Parks director, said the 5,000 eggs were placed in the park by volunteers in roped off areas set aside for different age groups.

“It took the volunteers three months to fill them and about 30 seconds to take the apart.”

Alan Conrad of the Friends of Mountwood said the crowd dwarfed last year’s

“Last year we had 200 and it was raining,” he said. “This year we had 150 very quickly and now we’re probably double what we had last year.

Arthur said prizes included four bicycles, 20 Easter baskets, numerous DVDs, T-shirts and shoes from the Little Kanawha Resource Conservation and Development Project Sharing.

Arthur said the hot dogs and buns were donated by Jim Oppe of Foodland and the chips and drinks came from Little Kanawha Resource Conservation and Development Project Sharing. Pressley Ridge donated 1,000 of the eggs.

“It was the most successful one we’ve had,” Bland said.

“The kids had a ball. It takes a lot of time to put it together but it was worth it,” Arthur said.

Crystal Guice said her daughter, Isabella, attended her first Easter Egg Hunt Saturday.

“It was her first one and she had a good time,” she said. “She had the best time here.”

Aleta Lopez said her niece, Carmen McKinney, had a good time at the hunt, also her first.

“At first she was picking them one at a time and bring them to me,” she said. “I told her she needed to pick them up and then come to me after she couldn’t find any.”