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A treasure hunt for eggs

4/20/2014

By JUDY SHERARD

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Tradition continued as youngsters scampered across the Fort Hays State University lawns Saturday morning in search of the nearly 7,000 colorful hidden eggs.

By 9 a.m., children and their parents filled the area in front of Memorial Union, waiting for the signal the 40th annual Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt was underway.

"I just like doing Easter egg hunts," Celia Brooks, 9, said as she waited for the hunt to begin.

The hunt was a first for Mara Jensen, 2, who came looking for "Easter treasures."

Her mom, Krista Jensen, guided Mara in the hunt while her older siblings, Kyla, 10, Caleb. 7, and Emma, 5, found their own age groups.

The Easter bunny made an appearance before and after the egg hunt giving parents a chance to snap photos.

Kenley Callahan, 3, came to her first Easter egg hunt sporting her own bunny ears, but was just as interested in trading head gear and wearing her dad Josh Callahan's cap.

Like the other children, Kenley left with a basket full of eggs.

This is the 27th year a portion of the egg hunt has been on his front lawn, FHSU President Edward Hammond said.

"The Kiwanis does a great job," he said.

It's a holiday tradition for many Kiwanis members and other volunteers to fill the eggs the evening before the hunt.

Kiwanis member Tracy Engel has been helping for several years, often bring her niece Haileigh Jacobs and nephew Hunter Jacobs.

"Kiwanis help children in the community. It's a very easy way to help because we love stuffing eggs and chocolate and all that stuff," Engel said.

"It's a fun way to help out little kids, and I get service hours for my school," Haileigh Jacobs said.

Hunter Jacobs remembers hunting for the eggs when he was younger and now readies them for the hunt.

Kiwanis member Dennis Zimmerman has been helping with the egg hunt for 35 years. He remembers when the event meant they had to dye "3,600 hard-boiled eggs."

After eating them, the children often sported the pastel shades of the dyed eggs.

Now, the plastic eggs are filled with candy, coins and coupons, said Theresa Thomas, who's chaired the event for the past several years.

Some of the eggs, candy and coins are donated. Local businesses also provide coupons to be stuffed in some eggs.

"I have a budget," Thomas said. "We have Kiwanis who write a check and say either get candy, coins, whatever, so I make sure I have enough."

Sandy Glassman isn't a Kiwanis member but volunteers to help fill the eggs.

"It's fun, and the kids love it."