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2,000 eggs hidden during fourth annual H.C. Smith Benefit Club hunt

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Updated: 9:53 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

ST. JOHNSVILLE -- On Saturday, the H.C. Smith Benefit Club hid 2,000 eggs on the front lawn and in the expansive woods behind the facility, inviting kids to come and find as many as they pleased.

The fact that the kids don't have a limit as to how many eggs they find is one of the unique attributes of the H.C. Smith Benefit Club's annual event, now in its fourth year. If Event Chair Becky Hagadorn sees a child that hasn't yet found many eggs, she comes up behind them and rolls a couple out on the ground.

Prior to the event kick-off, kids are invited to spend time with the Easter Bunny, who mingled amongst the crowd and posed for photos with kids.

The younger kids, kindergarten age and under, searched for eggs in a roped off section of the facility's front lawn while older kids searched the vast wooded area out back. "We hide them all through the woods for the bigger kids," Hagadorn said, noting that club members start hiding the eggs Saturday morning around 8 a.m. While Saturday morning's tasks go fairly fast, the preparation process leading up to the event takes months.

After a date is locked down in February, Hagadorn said she shops for the candy to fill the thousands of eggs. It takes quite a bit, as you can imagine, and she noted that the process of assembling the eggs also takes a lot of time. About four club members spent six hours the Sunday prior to the event putting candy in each egg, with Hagadorn explaining that the eggs are a challenge to re-assemble once the candy is placed in them.

After the event concludes, club members also have to re-assemble the pulled apart eggs, as kids take the candy with them and leave the eggs in a large garbage pail.

"It was a great turnout today," said Hagadorn, explaining that "every year, it gets bigger." She attributed the huge turnout this year partially to the gorgeous, sunny and warm weather, noting that one family even travelled from Rome.

The egg hunt is put on by the club simply to bring the community together and to give back to those who have supported them. The club provides free doughnuts and hot chocolate for attendees, as well as an Easter basket for each young child and a large chocolate bunny for the older ones, along with the candy inside each eggs. There were 18 special golden eggs hidden amongst the bounty.

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