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Mont Alto Easter event offers basketful of fun

April 11, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

MONT ALTO, Pa. - Clutching empty Easter baskets and plastic bags, more than 100 children younger than 10 lined up around the Penn State Mont Alto soccer field Saturday morning, waiting for the signal to start the 13th annual Easter egg hunt.

A large pink Easter Bunny and the Nittany Lion walked through the crowd, but most of the children's attention was focused on the 1,005 multicolored plastic eggs dotting the field.

When the signal finally was given, the children raced, walked or toddled onto the field, and in little more than one minute, all the eggs had disappeared.

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After the hunt, David Surratt, resident coordinator for Mont Alto Hall and director of Saturday's activities, said, "Three thousand eggs next year, that's our goal. We thought these would last five minutes."

He added that the more than 1,000 eggs were stuffed by student volunteers.

In his first year directing the event, Surratt added games and face painting. The event was a community outreach project in partnership with Otterbein United Methodist Church in Mont Alto, he said.

Three Penn State Mont Alto freshmen manned the registration and raffle table.

Yvonne Williams, 18, from New York, said she came out on a sunny Saturday morning "just to do volunteer work and to have fun with the kids. We don't see them too much."

Charisse Furlongue, 19, of Virginia, said "none of us get up this early on a Saturday morning. But we get to see members of the community and their children. It's a good day, that's why we're out."

Assisting them was 20-year-old Dawn Staver of Shippensburg, Pa.

Face painting was provided by Naelis Ervin, 18, a freshman from Baltimore.

She volunteered her skills "just to have time with the kids. And I like face painting," she said.

Samantha Jays, 4, of Fayetteville, Pa., attending her first egg hunt with her father, Jeffery Jays, sat down on the field to count the six eggs she found and bit into a chocolate egg.

In her first year at the Mont Alto hunt, Brittany Hoffman, 9, picked up about eight eggs, and got an Easter basket painted on her face. Brittany attended with her mother, Patti Hoffman of Waynesboro, Pa.

Prizes were donated by Gardner's Candies, Waldenbooks, FYE and Flamers, all of Chambersburg Mall.

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