By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Fifteen hundred Easter eggs might seem like a lot. But they barely lasted 15 minutes.
Nearly 100 children hunted them all down Saturday afternoon at New Life Apostolic Church’s Easter Extravaganza at the UAW Building at 29th Street and Madison Avenue. It was the eighth year of the event, and Pastor Doug Jones said no matter how many eggs or volunteers he has, the eggs are scooped up quickly. So the past few years, he’s expanded the event to include games and snacks after the hunt for participants.
“We want to show people the reason behind Easter. It’s about caring. It’s about trust. It’s about having a good time, and it’s about the kids,” Jones said.
After the hunt, which started promptly at noon, Jones and church volunteers brought parents and children inside for refreshments and an array of activities like ring toss, bowling, face-painting and bean bag toss. Church administrator and event planner Charles Jones, Doug Jones’ brother, said he wanted to provide a good choice for the children so they could play something they enjoyed.
“We believe the church can partner with the community and create a positive environment. We want the kids to remember that church is an institution that can make families stronger,” Charles Jones said.
The positive change in weather made the hunt much more manageable. Unseasonably chilly temperatures and snow had Jones scrambling for alternative ideas a week ago. But skies were sunny and the weather was warm Saturday. Jones said he thought God came through to improve the weather just in time.
“It’s awesome that it changed like this. We’re just glad it turned around for today,” Jones said.
The gym of the UAW Building was still filled with children and parents after the hunt. Carrie Gibson, a former tenant of Charles Jones, brought her 8-year-old and 3-year-old boys to give them something positive and fun to do on Easter weekend.
“It’s great. It’s better than just sitting at home,” Gibson said.
Nearly a dozen volunteers assisted the Joneses with the extravaganza. Volunteer Cindy Irvin said she was happy to spread love by volunteering.
“It’s a very positive activity for the children, and it’s a good chance for fellowship with other people in the church,” Irvin said.
Doug Jones said he also wanted the event to be a showcase for other resources his church offers. He said the church is starting programs like tutoring and a daycare to help families, and he wanted to let the community know those services were available.
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