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Kids who show up for this will be egged on

Lions Club organizers for next month's Easter Egg Hunt hope more people like this will bring something to donate to the River Falls Community Food Pantry. Children can bring a dollar for the Food Pantry and learn about the value of giving. (Submitted photo)1 / 3
Come April 8, kids and their friends will be scrambling around for Easter eggs on the high school gym floor. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
Rose Rude3 / 3

The River Falls Lions Club will again sponsor the annual Easter Egg Hunt & Carnival at the high school commons and gym.

This year's egg hunt is a week before Easter from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8.

The event, billed as family entertainment, has a serious side.

"It would be fantastic if each child would donate $1 to the food shelf," said Lions member Rose Rude, who has supervised Easter Egg Hunts since the club starting sponsoring them in 2010.

Donations to the River Falls Food Pantry are part of what the egg hunt is about.

"I want to emphasize the donations this year because they were down last year," Rude said. "It is also a simple way for kids to start giving back to their community at a young age. Lions are all about giving back to the community."

Jerry Carter and Mel Germanson, "The Grumpy Old Men," will again be at the high school during the egg hunt/carnival taking Food Pantry donations — that can mean either a donated food item or money.

More than 400 children attended last year's egg hunt. If there's a similar turnout April 8 and each child brings a buck, Rude said that's a tidy sum to support Food Pantry operations.

Ground rules for the April 8 egg hunt haven't changed.

Carnival games and a concession stand open at 11:30 a.m. Concession profits defray the costs for the Easter Egg Hunt.

The first group of kids will be released for an egg hunt at 11:45 a.m. After that, groups of about 50 kids will be released every 10-15 minutes until all have a chance to "hunt for eggs."

The limit is four Easter eggs per child. There will be two-egg hunting areas in the gym.

Kids hunt in one area as the second is restocked for the next group.

For kids under age 2, there will be a pool with eggs found under wood shavings.

"Last year we had extra eggs, so there was an extra run for anyone who wanted another turn at 1 p.m.," Rude said.

The eggs come stuffed with candy and treats. One or two eggs per hunt will have a ticket inside to win a stuffed animal.

Rude said the recommended age range for the egg hunt is 1-7 years old. Easter Bunny photo opportunities and face painting will be available.

"This is the seventh Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt and Carnival," Rude said. "A variety of local businesses contribute money, candy and carnival prizes. The Lions Club still pays for the majority of the expenses."

Rude says she enjoys doing service projects like the annual family egg hunt.

"Lions are a big part of my life because they serve the community," she said.

Volunteering is what makes the Easter Egg Hunt a success. Helping out can take many forms.

"This year, the cognitively delayed students from (Cecily) Gillis's class from the high school will put the treats into the eggs for the under-2 kids," Rude said. "They will also help make signs for the event, and help clean and sort the plastic eggs from last year."

Rude said there are other volunteering needs, especially for the egg hunt's carnival.

If you wish to be a volunteer, call Rude at 715-781-7032 or contact Tracy Prissell by email at Tracyprissel4@gmail.com.

"Come and enjoy a free, fun-filled activity for children and parents," Rude said, asking families to mark the April 8 date as they plan for things to do this spring.

Besides Rude and Prissell, other Lion Club members on the Easter Egg Hunt Committee are: Rod Rommel, Vince Seidling, Craig Nelson, Julie Hove and Ryan Leach.

Phil Pfuehler
Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
(715) 426-1050
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