Hundreds turn out for Lions’ annual Easter excitement

Sunday, April 23, 2017 - 17:07
  • Alexandra Ausel races toward a plastic egg during the Eagle River Lions Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Dakota Finn hugs the Easter Bunny during the Eagle River Lions Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Brodee Workman looks for plastic eggs during the Eagle River Lions Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Children swarm a pair of Easter bunnies on Sunday, April 16, 2017 during the Eagle River Lions Easter Egg Hunt at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Children run onto the field at Lions Park in Eagle River during the Eagle River Lions Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • The Eagle River Lions hosted their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • The Eagle River Lions hosted their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Wendy Boyd, left, helps her daughter, Eden, 3, open Easter eggs following the Eagle River Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • The Eagle River Lions hosted their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Simone Amundson climbs down a snowbank after grabbing a plastic Easter egg during the Eagle River Lions Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Lions Park in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Hundreds of children with visions of candy and prizes stormed the field at Eagle River Lions Park Sunday, snatching up more than 10,000 Easter eggs in a matter of minutes at the annual Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt.

“It goes fast,” said event organizer Sonia Vance of the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions.

Though it was over in a matter of minutes, the event took weeks to play. Members of the Lions youth group — the Leos — spent weeks stuffing the eggs with candy and prize tickets said Vance’s daughters, Caitlin and Lindsey. The teens said they would stuff eggs during club meetings throughout the spring.

Lindsey Vance said the work was a bit tedious, but is made all worthwhile when the kids rush the field.

“I love when the little kids are smiling,” she said.

The egg hunt was divided into five different age groups, with kids spread out among several fields and in the woods near the Lions’ clubhouse a the corner of Eagle River Loop and Eagle River Road. Most eggs contained candy, though a few lucky children found eggs containing tickets for gift cards and toys. A food truck dished out snacks and a pair of Easter bunnies hopped about for free pictures with the kids.

Egg hunters stormed the field at precisely 1 p.m. again this year, with a fire truck whistle courtesy of the Anchorage Fire Department kicking off the festivities. Although the competition was often fierce, volunteers made sure no child went without goodies.

“We have lots of extra candy,” said Caitlin Vance.

The annual event is a way for the Lions to give back to the children of Chugiak-Eagle River.

“It’s definitely a community project,” said Sonia Vance.

Vance’s daughers said they enjoy helping out with the event each year.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Lindsey Vance said.

Contact star editor Matt Tunseth at editor@alaskastar.com

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