April eggs make Maywood Park kids smile

See why this decades-old tradition continues near – but not quite in – outer East Portland …

They’re off and gathering! The 2015 City of Maywood Park Easter Egg Hunt has begun!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For decades, the Saturday morning before Easter has been a date to which parents and kids of the City of Maywood Park look forward.

Many children of the 217 families residing in this mid-County city came out on the morning of April 4, more than ready for another Maywood Park Easter Egg Hunt.

Volunteers Gayle Burrow and Mary Hardie trade the lucky gold coin that Elena Villavicencio found in a plastic egg for a premium prize.

“It’s been going on for at least 30 years,” reflected Gayle Burrow, one of the “main helpers” in this year’s event. “We’ve been doing it for the 25 years I’ve lived in Maywood Park.”

Mary Hardie, the “First Lady of Maywood Park”, said, “We’ve been doing it this way before we were incorporated as a city!”

On a weeknight shortly before their Easter Egg event, a couple dozen neighbors gather for the “stuffing of the eggs” – in which about 4,000 plastic eggs, recycled year after year, are cleaned and again filled with premium candy, small toys – and a few “gold coins”.

Sara Redd gets help gathering eggs from her Auntie Lucy Lines.

“They’re not really made of gold,” Burrow confided to East Portland News. “Kids that find one of these special coins get to redeem them for Easter baskets, and other larger prizes.”

Volunteers said they were glad it didn’t rain that morning, as they concealed the stuffed plastic eggs in the yard of a home along NE Maywood Park Place, and along the “park” across the street.

It didn’t take long for the kids to gather up baskets, buckets, and bags full of the colorful packages.

Kids and parents snap open their Easter Eggs to harvest the goodies, before recycling the plastic containers.

In the closed-off street, parents helped their kids “shell” their goodies, and recycle the plastic eggs into boxes that will be stored until next year.

“It’s worth the effort doing this, to be able to provide this nice event for the children in our community,” Burrow said, while redeeming another gold coin. “Because we’re a city, not just another neighborhood, a special event like this helps keep us together.”

[Also on our Front Page] Dan Presley and Airalyn Presley look happy with the Easter Eggs they gathered during the 2015 City of Maywood Park Easter Egg Hunt.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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