Annual egg hunt brings out many

Patrick Dryndas and his mom Katie pose with a large Easter basket that Patrick won.

Even though it is April 15, spring is reluctant to arrive for good. The 8th annual Spring Easter Egg hunt, usually held on the lawn of the Langford House, formerly the President’s House, at SUNY, took place for the first time in Fredonia’s Steele Hall gym.

The event is organized each year by Kappa Sigma, a fraternity at SUNY Fredonia. Its Coordinator of Volunteer and Community Services, Jacob Patterson, said he had never been a Boy Scout. Nevertheless, Jake and his fraternity brothers were prepared for inclement weather.

“We had rented the gym ahead of time in case of bad weather. The OBSERVER printed information about the alternate site, and today we had people (at the Langford House) to direct people here,” he said.

Longtime volunteer and mentor to the fraternity, Michelle Twichell, a former Fredonia Village Trustee, said, “This event has grown over the years to become the biggest community event for children on campus. The students have done a fabulous job of putting this all together. It is a lot of work. They coordinate everything. They buy the eggs and stuff them all.”

Members of Sigma Alpha Iota and Sigma Gamma Phi provided assistance, as did Joyce Harvard Smith, Coordinator of Volunteer and Community Services at SUNY Fredonia, Barb Dorler and the maintenance staff at the college, and Beverly Bennett. Both Yotality and Walmart donated to the event. Walmart’s donation included two bikes along with a helmet for each.

A family checks out what they received in their eggs.

Smith noted, “It’s so important to build partnerships.”

The event opened at 1 p.m. Children were registered for the age 2-5 year group or the 6-10 year group.

In the track area, volunteers at craft tables provided a number of opportunities including face painting, jewelry making, coloring, painting rocks, decorative stamping and decorating butterflies or flowers.

The Easter Bunny circulated throughout the area, willingly posing for pictures, dancing to the music with adults and children, and giving children high-fives or tens.

One section of the hunting area was for children ages 2-5 and another for ages 6-10. At 2 p.m., College President Virginia Horvath briefly thanked those who made the event possible and then led the countdown after which the two areas were opened for the children.

Clayton Foote and his dad David pose with the basket Clayton received.

A total of about 3,000 plastic eggs were scattered in the gym. The area for the older children was cleared out quickly, while some of the younger children were helped by their parents or guardians. After picking up all the eggs, the next task was to open them all. Most contained candy, but some contained slips of paper with writing on them. Those who received slips of paper reported to the registration desk for special prizes. In addition to the two bicycles, several large Easter baskets were given away. Bike winners were Kay Dai and Avery Trippi. Those winning baskets included Clayton Foote, Patrick Dryndas, Cameron Reinelt, and Gabriel and Jezebiel (no last names given).

In keeping with the ideals of conservation, organizers encouraged people to recycle the plastic eggs. Patterson explained, “We sanitized those from last year as well as purchased some new. We want to make sure that the eggs are clean and safe for the kids.”

Patterson is a junior this year, so, yes, he intends to be back helping again next year. It’s certain that many of the local children will return for a well-organized and fun event.

Cameron Reinelt won one of the baskets in the 6-10 year category.

Avery Trippi won the bike and helmet in the 6-10 year category.