Licking County News

Revived egg hunt slated April 12

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The second annual Pataskala community egg hunt sponsored by the Pataskala Lions Club and Southwest Licking Leo Club will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12, in Thomas J. Evans Foundation Park, 10255 McIntosh Road.

The egg hunt was brought back to the community last year as a service project of the Southwest Licking Leo Club, which includes students ages 12-18 who attend school in Pataskala. The Leo Club is affiliated with the Pataskala Lions Club.

"What we specifically are trying to teach is leadership skills," said Leo Club adviser Sarah McGuire. "We teach the kids how to be good citizens and to set a positive example for their peers."

Part of the club's mission is to do community service work, which included bringing a tradition back to Pataskala, McGuire said.

McGuire said she can't remember whose idea it was but the club decided to partner with the Pataskala Recreation Association and the Pataskala Parks Advisory Board to organize the egg hunt.

"Everybody wants to see this community event come back to Pataskala," she said. "It's something that used to be here and we're starting to see that kind of movement" of bringing holiday celebrations back to the city.

Last year, the Leo Club raised enough funds to distribute 6,000 eggs.

"Last year was the first year and we had (more than) 1,000 people show up," said Mayor Mike Compton. "It was a huge success the first year."

McGuire said the Southwest Licking Leo Club and Pataskala Lions Club work with the Pataskala Area Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to raise money for the eggs.

The Pataskala Recreation Association donated 7,000 eggs already filled with prizes.

McGuire said the Leo Club made bean-bag toss games and auctioned those off earlier this year as a fundraiser for the event. Club members used the money to purchase prizes for another 6,000 eggs, which they will fill before April 12.

McGuire said the Leo Club is continuing to raise money and hopes to include tickets for some larger prizes, such as a bicycle or large stuffed animal, in some of the eggs.

Ann Walther, a member of the parks advisory board and the Pataskala Recreation Association, said two local churches are partnering with the groups this year.

The Impact Church in Summit Station and Pataskala Grace Brethren Church on Headleys Mill Road in Jersey Township will provide children's activities, Walther said.

McGuire said the churches also will help coordinate registration, which is new this year. She said children must register to participate and will receive a wrist band. Registered children will be divided into three age groups: ages toddler to 3; 4 to 6; and 7 to 11.

Children in the youngest group may be accompanied by parents during the hunt, McGuire said.

Walther said children should bring their own baskets and the event will be held rain or shine.

Walther said the group is considering moving the egg hunt to a different park each year.

"It's a great thing to have back and just another way we're trying bring some nostalgia back to the city," Walther said.

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