Throngs of kids snatch up thousands of Easter Eggs at two East Portland events

See how long it took kids to swoop in and collect fields full of Easter eggs at these two traditional events …

The Easter Bunny presents Poppy and Finnegan Friel with … fresh carrots!?!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Volunteers prepared for days, for the April 11 Easter Egg Hunts – and then spent hours sowing parks with foil-covered chocolates and plastic-shelled eggs at two East Portland parks. We were fortunate to witness them both!

“This is a really fun event,” grinned Edwina Swart, President of the Oaks Bottom Lions Club, at Westmoreland Park, a few minutes before their 10:00 a.m. start time. “This is our sixth year doing this, and we always look forward to it.”

Westmoreland Park egg hunt organizers Edwina Swart and Fran Shaw, with the Oaks Bottom Lions Club, pause after all the eggs have been distributed.

At exactly 10:00 a.m., kids rush out to start gathering candy at this event.

Ten volunteers planted the south lawn of the park with thousands of foil-covered chocolate Easter Eggs, supplied by the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League neighborhood association (SMILE), while the Easter Bunny, as usual, gave kids real carrots, provided by New Seasons Markets.

Parents lined up their kids behind one of three section tapes, marking off areas for toddlers, little kids, and older youth.

Audrey Morris is looking for her next nest of Easter eggs to collect.

Alana, dad Tom Keepes, Andrew, and Olivia show off their Easter Egg collection.

Anticipation ran high, as kids – restrained by their parents – awaited the appointed moment to dash out and gather the goodies set out for them. Within minutes of the start, the whirlwind of children picked the lawns clean of goodies.

Easter comes to Woodstock
When we next arrived at Woodstock Park, organizers were minutes away from their own 10:30 a.m. start time.

“It’s the 11th Woodstock Park Easter Egg Hunt,” said event chair Tom Vice, as he kept a careful watch on the time using his cell phone. The hunt, originated and run for years by realtor Janis Wigg, was recently assumed by the Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA).

Tom Vice, one of this year’s organizers of the Woodstock Easter Egg Hunt, counts down to the start time of the 11th annual event.

Boys, girls, moms, and dads make a dash for the eggs and prizes at Woodstock Park.

Vice said that volunteers stuffed 1,900 plastic eggs with toys, a coupon good for merchandise or candy; they also distributed another 1,500 foil covered chocolate eggs on the lawn in the park.

“We’ve divided our hunt into two sections: one for older kids, and one for the little ones. Hopefully everyone will go away happy,” Vice told us.

Some run to the far corners of Woodstock Park; others start gathering nearby eggs as the Hunt begins.

Logan Hancock, Cedrus Barrett, and mom Samantha Hancock say they’ve got what they came for – Easter Eggs loaded with treats!

“This event helps connect our neighbors with each other,” Vice said about the egg hunt. “And, it involves area businesses with the neighbors. We have lots of sponsors this year, and we especially thank those who donated food: First Cup, Papaccino’s, Space Monkey, His Bakery, Sweetness, and Mehri’s Café and Bakery for helping out.”

The elapsed time between Vice calling “Go!” and the lawn being picked clean was about four minutes.

But, neighbors spent a good portion of the rest of the morning opening and recycling the plastic eggs, and networking. The kids? They were happily munching on the candy!

Volunteer Jodi Smith shows lucky ticket-holders the prizes they’ve won in the drawing, complements of Woodstock-area businesses.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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