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Arlington community turns out for egg hunts

ARLINGTON — The buzzer sounded and Kody Cummings was off.

The 3-year-old ducked under a rope and immediately hit the ground, grasping between his fingers handfuls of plastic Easter eggs filled with candy.

Nothing could slow him down — not the dozens of other children or the biting wind whipping through Presidents Elementary School’s play fields.

“I think he’s probably numb by now,” said Kody’s mom, Kim, as she snapped photos of her son. “I think he’s used to the cold — we were at a hockey function earlier today.”

Despite blustery conditions Saturday, April 3, more than 400 children, parents and pets bundled up and brought their Easter baskets to the second annual egg hunt sponsored by Arlington Assembly.

Organizers made egg collectors between the ages of 6 months to 11 years work for their prizes during the hour-long event, which was made up of four separate egg hunts divided by age group.

Each group had its own individually roped-off area to make sure each youngster got their hands on some eggs, said Brandie Broadhead, children’s pastor for the church and organizer of the hunt.

Using a megaphone, Broadhead systematically gave each group of kids a loud buzz, indicating that they could begin going after the eggs.

The noise might has well been an air gun signaling the beginning of a race. During each hunt, children spilled into their respective areas, furiously picking up eggs and stuffing them into either plastic bags or woven baskets.

“Our smaller kids take some time during their hunts, but our big kids clean out the area in no time,” Broadhead said. “During the big hunts, we were getting surrounded out there.”

Each hunt took less than five minutes, and less than an hour after the event started all 12,000 eggs were gone.

After each hunt, children and their families transferred the goods from within each egg into baskets brought from home or bags handed out by volunteers. Volunteers also handed out an Easter basket after each hunt, valued at about $50.

Kneeling on the grass after the kindergarten through second-grade hunt, 6-year-old Fenix Lein and her aunt, Tammy Sundheim, cracked open about two dozen eggs to transfer their contents into a basket.

“The most exciting part was getting the eggs,” Fenix said.

Sundheim said she had heard about the event from a co-worker who attends Arlington Assembly.

During the final egg hunt for children in third through fifth grade, Chayla Irvin, a fourth-grader from Marysville, weaved her way through other boys and girls to collect as many eggs as she could.

Irvin, 10, was out of breath after the nearly three-minute hunt.

“It was cold, but I knew I was going to get a lot of eggs,” Irvin said. “I’ve done this before.”

Broadhead said the event seemed to be better attended than last year’s hunt.

Arlington Assembly decided to hold their own Easter egg hunt prior to last year’s event after bringing the idea up to city and school officials.

“The city used to have a hunt in the morning and in the afternoon, and told us we could help them out by adding a second location,” Broadhead said. “That was our goal — to work with the city.”

The city of Arlington also held its annual Easter egg hunt at the airport on Saturday. That hunt, typically attended by hundreds of community members, gave children a chance to have their photo taken with the Easter bunny in addition to scavenging for eggs.

Volunteers played a big role in putting on the event, Broadhead said.

Approximately 20 people were on hand Saturday to help out, and the eggs, which were recycled from last year’s event, were stuffed with candy by church members.

“It was really fun, and that’s our goal — to do an event that helps engage community relations,” she said. “People didn’t care that it was cold out. I had a lot of people come up to me and say thanks.”

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