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Egg hunt: Time to play, time to give

Starting 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 23 in the River Falls High School commons area, scores of young kids will get ready, get set and go hunt Easter eggs in the annual event sponsored by the River Falls Lions Club.

Coordinator Rose Rude said the egg hunt combines family fun with "giving back to the community."

She said last year some 400 kids and their families participated in the egg hunt, and a squad of 72 volunteers, young, middle-aged and old, supervised.

Last year's Easter Egg Hunt giving included 395 pounds donated for the local food pantry and $100 in cash, 200 pairs of glasses, two hearing aids and 12 cellphones.

Lions Clubs have long been known for collecting eyeglasses, then shipping and redistributing them around the world for people in need. The Lions also help people worldwide with hearing loss or impairment through a hearing-aid recycling program.

The Lions also now encourage the recycling of old cellphones. These can be refurbished and programmed for 911 emergency phones, then donated to shelters and charities. Phone donors should erase all personal information first.

Rude said each year the event becomes better organized so activities flow more smoothly and waiting is minimized.

Instead of one registration table this year, there will be multiple ones. As kids register for a raffle, they are also given a cookie and a treat, and a color-coded ticket that indicates when it's their turn to hunt for eggs.

Kids hunt in groups of 50 about every 10 minutes. The first group will be released at 11:45 a.m.

Egg hunters can claim four eggs. Part of the fun is finding out what's inside the egg, as well as 25 ongoing carnival games that include the news ones of Plinko and Angry Bird. Rude said a duck race where contestants blow through straws is also popular.

There's also face painting and craft tables. Expect the Easter Bunny to appear and be available to pose for pictures.

Kids under two years old get to fish around for eggs in a pool filled with wood shavings.

Egg hunt organizers say the event is really for children ages 1-7.

Besides Rude, egg-hunt committee members include Elaine Baker, Rod Rommel, Vince Seidling, Craig Nelson and Maranda Mahr.