Easter egg hunt brings joy to children

Published 10:31 pm Saturday, April 11, 2009

The First United Methodist Church’s annual Easter Egg Hunt is something Joan and Benny Beard look forward to hosting all year long.

“We have been hosting this for at least 10 years,” Joan Beard said. “We love to see the kids hunting eggs and having fun. This is the thing we look forward to most throughout the year, and it’s a tradition that we plan on continuing.”

The Beards have been members of FUMC for 35 years and Joan Beard said the effort of getting ready for the hunt is well worth the joy on children’s faces as they find eggs.

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“We have 55 acres of land, and it takes a lot of effort to get everything ready,” she said. “We have to make sure we don’t have any ants, and that everything is in prime egg hunting condition. It takes a lot of effort, but it’s completely worth it when you see the children’s faces. I’m so thankful that we have had such beautiful weather for the hunt this year.”

Joan Beard said the Easter message is an important part of the Easter egg hunt.

“Before we turn the kids loose to look for eggs, we gather them around and tell them the Easter story,” Joan Beard said. “We explain to them how the eggs represent new life. Since it’s spring, everything is just beginning to bloom and the kids are able to see ‘new life’ right in front of their faces. The Easter egg hunt is a very special event for us.”

The children are divided by age group and the older children are given a more challenging egg hunt.

There is a golden egg as the ultimate prize.

Ten-year-old Cade Curtis said he was disappointed he lost the golden egg.

“I lost the golden egg to a girl for the second year in a row,” Curtis said. “Alex Jackson found it this year. I walked right by it, too, and I didn’t see it. Next year is my last Easter egg hunt, and my goal is to definitely find the golden egg.”

Bess Dunn and Abby Ford, both 4, said they were excited to see what the Easter Bunny will bring them on Sunday.

“I want a soft unicorn that I can hold,” Dunn said. “I hope I get a lot of candy, too. I really like Nerds.”

Ford said while she was excited about the Easter Bunny, she knew the real reason for the Easter celebration.

“I know that Jesus died on the cross and went up into heaven for me,” Ford said. “He did that because he loves us and so we can go to heaven, too.”

Amanda Ford, Abby’s mother, said the hunt was a good time for all involved.

“You come to this Easter egg hunt and you realize what a happy time it is to be a parent,” Amanda Ford said. “We have a beautiful life here in Troy and Easter falls at such a beautiful time of year. We are very blessed.”