Good Eggs: Parkersburg Lions Club continues Easter tradition for visually impaired children
PARKERSBURG — Katherine Quesenberry considered Sunday’s Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt in Parkersburg City Park a success, so much so that she wasn’t all that interested in attending another upcoming hunt she heard about.
“I think I have enough Easter eggs,” the 8-year-old Parkersburg resident said.
Quesenberry filled a bucket to overflowing Sunday afternoon, relying on her ears rather than her eyes to guide her to the prizes.
For about 10 years, the Parkersburg Lions Club has offered the event on Palm Sunday, the week before Easter, for visually impaired children. It’s part of their ongoing mission of providing glasses, eye exams and other support the blind and visually impaired, said Charles Roberts, club president.
Volunteers hold eggs that emit a loud beeping sound in a relatively clear section of the park near the veterans memorials.
“Turn them on and they go by the sound to find them,” Roberts said.
This was the second year Quesenberry, who was born with corneal opacity and has had multiple cornea transplants and one prosthetic eye, participated in the hunt.
“It was easy, ’cause my ears could hear it,” she said. “It was easy last year, so it’s gotta be even easier this year.”
Her father, Jeromy Quesenberry, walked alongside her, offering tips about possible obstacles on the ground.
“This is awesome,” he said. “These things mean the world.”
The hunt was a new experience for 4-year-old Sloane Siers of Parkersburg. She doesn’t have any visual impairment but joined in by donning a blindfold and seeing what it was like to use another sense to hunt for eggs.
“She wanted to participate in an Easter egg hunt, and I thought it would be interesting to start introducing her to disability and impairment and the idea that not all the kids in the world have the advantages she does,” said her father, Randall, a member of the club who has helped with the hunt in years past.
It’s an annual tradition for many volunteers, some of whom participated as kids with visual impairments or, like Sloane, the children of other volunteers getting a different perspective.
“It gives me an opportunity to help kids out,” said Mia Williams, a high school student who’s been coming to the event with her parents since she was 8. “It gives the kids that are blind the opportunity to have an Easter egg hunt.”
Anthony Williams, 14, was diagnosed with corneal dystrophy at age 2 and has been attending the hunt for 8 years. On Sunday, he was holding a beeping egg and handing out candy-filled eggs.
“Why not? It gets me out of the house,” he said. “Plus, I like to help kids succeed in life.”
Evan Bevins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.