Over 160 children gathered at the Hamilton Street Activity Center for their annual egg hunt. The hunt has been sponsored by Kids of the Community for 11 years, and is dedicated to the memory of police officer David Stalcup.
“We have the hunt in memory of Stalcup, but it started as a way to give children in that area a way to participate when they might not normally be able to,” said volunteer Barry Dishman. “We decided to bring a fun event to the children in their community.”
The children were able to enjoy the egg hunt, then chow down on complimentary hot dogs. Each child had the opportunity to visit with the Easter Bunny, have their photo taken with him, then choose a large bag filled with goodies.
Over 200 bags were filled with treats for the children, and are made possible by longtime volunteers, Laura and Chip Schultz.
“For several years, they have provided baskets for the kids from the goodness of their hearts,” said Kids of the Community program director Heather Lutrell. “This year she found these wonderful reusable bags. This is something they enjoy doing for the children, and we appreciate it so much.”
A special treat was a visit from 14-year-old Kate Hart and her therapy dog, Kipper. She and Kipper enjoy visiting hospitals, nursing facilities, schools and libraries. The two are affiliated with Pet Partners, formerly the Delta Society, and both completed therapy training classes. Kipper is a well-mannered dog that enjoys interacting with people of all ages.
Hart says her most memorable experience with Kipper involved an Alzheimer’s patient who no longer was able to keep his dog with him in the nursing home. He especially enjoyed Kipper’s visits, and remembered the little dog on one of his last visits.
“This was especially rewarding to me,” said Hart. “He didn’t realize a lot that was going on around him, but he remembered Kipper and even took him for a little walk.”
The many children and adults at the egg hunt, also enjoyed Kipper, and will remember his visit to their hunt.
“We filled over 20,000 eggs this year, and even though the weather was cool, we had a wonderful turnout of children and parents,” said Dishman.