WESTFIELD, NJ – After the previous night’s rainfall, the morning of the 84th Annual Westfield Easter Egg Hunt remained overcast until the event's start time neared, but cloud cover gave way to blue skies and increasingly warm temperatures on Saturday.
Kiwanis Club members had commandeered the event last year after the Lions Club relinquished its ownership of the annual tradition. Families posed for photos with the Easter Bunny and its giant carrot companion while catching up with friends.
The organizers cordoned off egg-picking areas with caution tape, separating those children foraging for prizes by age group, and ensuring parents waited outside of the perimeter.
Three areas marked with caution tape designated children of various age groups to pick up the eggs. Parents, children and strollers lined the perimeter of the sun-soaked field awaiting the countdown.
As the 1 p.m. start time neared, the Kiwanis Club of Greater Westfield members quickly gathered for a group photo.
Club President J.M. Jones, Lt. Gov. Michael Murray and Kiwanis members Richard Burdett, Brian Dwelle, Susan Dougherty, Alan Shineman, Susan Morton and Heidi Copanegro were all present to continue on this well-established spring tradition.
Doughtery, dressed for the fun occasion in a bumblebee costume, offered praise for the Westfield High School Key Club, the youth extension of the Kiwanis Club.
“We rely on the help that the Key Club provides,” she said. “Their motto is ‘Caring – our way of life’ and it is our goal to teach these kids how to be good citizens.”
Westfield High School juniors Theresa Lizzo and Dustin Paden shared their enthusiasm for participating in community events. Lizzo and Paden have been members of the club for 2 and 4 years, respectively.
“This event is one of my favorites. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and it’s just great to see all of the kids come out and have fun,” Dustin said.
Theresa added: “Seeing all of the joy on everyone’s faces makes all of our efforts worthwhile.”
At 1 p.m. the buzzer sounded and the race was on. Children laughed, screamed, and scrambled as they filled their hands, shirts or baskets with as many eggs as they could carry.
After the scramble, participants traded in their eggs for gourmet jellybeans and stickers.
Speaking through a megaphone, Kiwanis Club President J.M. Jones thanked the Lions Club for running the event for decades.
“I would also like to thank the members of the Westfield Key Club for helping us to put on such a great event for your kids,” Jones said.
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