Jaycees put on egg-cellent day

Apr. 13, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

A volunteer yelled out “Go,” and before she was even through with the word, 30 children were running, jumping and even cartwheeling toward their goal: plastic candy-filled Easter eggs.

That was just one of the age groups rushing for eggs at the Central Carolina Jaycees’ annual Easter egg hunt Saturday. The local charity broke their 5,000 eggs up among hunts for four age groups and a fifth one specifically for special-needs children. A dozen or so children attended that hunt; among them, 9-year-old twins Ryan and Reece Sasser.

Their mom, Brooklyn Wester, said the two had done Easter egg hunts before but never one as big as this — and that they were loving it, taking in the different games and stations where volunteers handed out food, painted faces, let kids hold a real life bunny or get their picture taken with a costumed Easter Bunny.

“There’s so much going on, they’re just running around checking it all out,” she said.

Another special needs egg hunt participant, 12-year-old Branton Watters, was there with his sister Meredith, who was helping at the face-painting booth, and their grandmother, Mel Hester.

“He’s a homebody,” Hester said of her grandson, who has Down’s Syndrome. “He’s excited for the egg hunt, but I think he just wants to get his eggs and go back home.”Branton appeared to be enjoying himself right before the hunt started, though, engrossed in a poster and with his face painted like a cat, which he proudly showed off.

Most of the attendees weren’t special needs, though for many it was a special time — like three-year-old twins Maryann and Aaron McKoy. It was their first Easter egg hunt ever, and they didn’t even know they were going to get to do one this year.

“It was a surprise,” said their mom, Shona McKoy. “They thought they were just going to be home all day.”

But instead, they got to join their more experienced sisters, 8-year-old Destiny McKoy and 9-year-old Tajayla Bell, who went with the older kids. Destiny said a few of her friends there were pretty fast, but that she thought she still might be able to collect the most eggs.

“I’m going to try, at least,” she said.