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Annual Easter egg hunts hosted by Gilpin County Community Center and Lady Elks

by Patty Unruh

GCCC Hunt and Egg Diving

Dozens of eggs-cited kids and their parents hopped over to the Gilpin County Community Center (GCCC) on Wednesday evening, April 12, for the annual Easter egg hunt and diving party. Volunteers guided the children in various activities, from crafting traditional Easter bags to trying out the bounce house or playing various games in the gym.

Kids of all ages were delighted by a visit from the Easter Bunny, aka GCCC staff member Bonnie Saeedi, who coordinated the event. Bonnie the Bunny gave away chocolate goodies along with gentle hugs.

“Thanks, Easter Bunny!” chorused the little ones, while adults chuckled at the innocent resemblance to an M&M’s ad slogan.

The Easter Bunny also made a surprise appearance at the senior lunch that day. The winsome bunny costume worn for both occasions was newly purchased this year for the GCCC and will be utilized for years to come.

About a dozen staff members and volunteers from Timberline Fire Protection District and Gilpin Ambulance Authority personnel were present to help out.

Gilpin seniors Kathleen Schrader and Barb Thielemann and staff members Saeedi and Becky Johnson spent many hours stuffing an estimated 1,500 eggs with 50 pounds of candy.

Right at 6:00 p.m., the youngsters lined up according to age for the egg hunts. The vividly-colored plastic eggs had been “hidden” (most in plain sight) in the kids’ castle, dance studio, lounge, senior room, and teen room.

It took only minutes to scoop up the eggs. Inside each was a piece of candy or a slip that could be redeemed for a small prize.

The children finished the evening with an eggs-hilirating dip in the pool for more eggs. Another “hoppy” ending to this very special event!

Lady Elks Coloring and Hunt

Children from birth to age 12 were treated to an egg coloring party at the Elks Lodge in Central City on Thursday evening, April 13. The kiddos dyed 60 dozen hard boiled eggs that were donated by Sysco Foods and Dostal Alley Casino and boiled by the Century Casino.

A generous group of volunteers gave their time to hide those 720 colorful eggs around William C. Russell Park on Saturday morning, April 15. Shirley Voorhies coordinator, was assisted by adult volunteers Joanne Kerr, Rebecca Blondo, Karen Bartlett, Ron Engels, Zane Laubhan, Russ Thomas, Mary Lou Price, Barb Thielemann, and Judy Coleman.

Ashley Blondo helped out as a teen representative from her Girl Scout Troop.

Kids, parents, and grandparents turned out in droves on the sunny spring day. The youngsters came equipped with a diverse assortment of egg-gathering apparatus: traditional baskets, Disney-themed buckets, Broncos bags, and even plastic Halloween pails.

The kids were psyched and could hardly wait to start the hunt. But no jumping the gun allowed! The annual custom requires starting the hunt precisely on time, and this year was no exception. At the stroke of 11:00, Voorhies gave the “go!” and older kids scrambled up the hill to search every blade of grass, while the small fry scoured the playground. Those kids lucky enough to find plastic eggs redeemed them for special prizes.

The volunteers also gifted the kids with treat bags full of stuffed animals, bubbles, and a variety of small toys.

The hunt was over in just a few minutes, and many families stayed to enjoy a rare, warm, early spring day in the mountains.

Thanks to all the volunteers who made Easter fun and memorable for the community!

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