Ready, set, hunt! Amherst Lions Easter tradition set for April 20

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File photo
Kids rush in to pick up thousands of colorful eggs at the 2018 Amherst Community Easter Egg Hunt. It takes just a minute for the Maude Neiding Park grounds to be cleared of the plastic eggs but the memories last a lifetime.

Splashes of pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple will soon dot the landscape of Maude Neiding Park as the Amherst Lions and Leo Clubs get ready for the annual Amherst Community Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 20.

“This is our 23rd year of hosting this very popular family event,” said club president Lori Elswick. “There’s a lot of preparation and then it’s all over in a matter of a few minutes.”

The Amherst Steele Leos — the youth service organization of the Lions — have the task of stuffing candy treats in 10,000 plastic eggs the week before and then scattering the eggs throughout the park on the morning of the hunt.

“Each of the tasks takes us a few hours to complete but it’s a lot of fun,” said Leo president Jenna McCloskey. “It wasn’t so many years ago that we were the egg hunters. Now we get to help continue this holiday tradition.”

The fun will begin with the arrival of the Easter Bunny aboard an Amherst fire engine at 10:30 a.m. The Easter Bunny will be available to greet youngsters and have pictures taken before and after the hunt.

The hunt itself will begin promptly at 11 a.m., signaled by the blast of the fire engine horn.

Families are advised to arrive early.

“Parking is limited at the park,” said Elswick, “so be prepared to park on the nearby side streets and walk to the park. We don’t want anyone missing the start.”

There will be three separate hunt areas marked according to age levels: toddlers to three-year-olds, four-to-six-year-olds, and seven-to-10 year-olds.

In addition to the candy-filled eggs, there will be specially marked eggs that can be redeemed for prizes at the end of the hunt.

Parents are asked not to enter the designated hunt areas when the hunt first begins, especially for the toddler to three-year old section.

“We want the young children to enjoy the experience at their own pace and don’t want over-enthused parents spoiling the fun or accidentally knocking down the young egg hunters,” said Elswick. “We’ll let them know a few minutes into the hunt when they can join their children.”

For those who are too young to walk on their own, Elswick suggests they visit with the Easter Bunny, who will have plenty of eggs to hand out.

However, parents of children with special needs are advised to ask a Lion or Leo Club member for assistance so everyone can take part in the fun.

Portable toilets provided by P&J Sanitation will again be available at the park, since the park restrooms are not de-winterized yet.

This is a free public event but donations to support Amherst Lions vision care and many other community projects will be accepted.

The Amherst Lions will also collect unwanted, used eye-glasses to be recycled and distributed to those in need in developing countries. Collection boxes will be set up for any contributions.

For more information about the Amherst Lions Club, look up “Amherst Ohio Lions Club” on Facebook, or email amherstohiolions@gmail.com.

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