Fairgrounds frenzied in egg hunt

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

PROCTORVILLE — Saturday’s Easter egg hunt at the Lawrence County fairgrounds was like a well-oiled machine. The organizers had their parking organized, children’s activities executed, the facilities spruced up and food prepared for all the hungry bellies that were on hand. But, when it came time to go for the Easter eggs, all bets were off.

Shortly after noon, the throngs of children — an estimated 1,500 — were transformed into egg-hunting monsters going mach speed.

There were 20,000 eggs hidden for ages two to 12. Children were divided according to their age.

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The Sanctuary of Grace sponsored the hunt, as it has done for the past three years. The church’s congregation of about 120 starts preparing for the egg hunt shortly after Christmas.

“I think it’s really great,” said Pam Johnson, of Rome Township. “It’s such a nice thing to have and everything is well-organized, unlike some of these other hunts were they just let the kids go wild.”

Before the hunt, there were plenty of things to get the kids in the Easter spirit, including games, music and a puppet show.

“It’s good that the kids can see that going to church or being a Christian is not boring, it can a be fun,” said Johnson, who brought her 2-year-old granddaughter, Kimberly, to the hunt.

Krissy Belfore, a 6-year-old Chesapeake resident, was pretty happy with her basket full of eggs, about 25.

“Look at this,” the girl said smiling. “I got lots of candy. I think I got most of all those kids.”

Krissy’s 8-year-old cousin, Emma Hogan, also of Chesapeake, disagreed.

“Look at this, you can’t have as many as me. I was running and finding them faster that you.”

Randy Thompson, the church’s associate pastor and Chesapeake police officer, said the event brings together the most important aspect of Easter, the religious one, with the one that many people identify with the secular.

He said the event is a way to reach out to those who may not have a relationship with a church. Each person driving into the fairgrounds Saturday was handed inspirational literature.

Peggy Rowe, a member of the Sanctuary of Grace, said, “If one person gets their lives right with the Lord, then this has been worth it. It’s good for the kids and the community.”

She said donations from many people made the event a success.