The tradition continues

The forces of nature dared not stop tradition.

The annual community Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Moose Lodge took place Saturday without any interference from above.

More than $1,100 in candy was scattered over the Dodger Stadium field, and hundreds of children waited with their parents at the yard lines to snatch it up.

“The kids will pay 50 cents to have a chance to get all the candy they can on the field, and a chance for prizes and bikes,” Becky Grazier, event organizer, said.

This year, with 25 prizes plus three bikes for each age group, there were even greater opportunities to win.

“We actually increased our prizes this year by five per each group, because of the number of kids we’ve had participate,” Grazier said.

According to Grazier, participation in the egg hunt has increased every year.

“Last year we had between 500 and 600,” she said. “It was time to up it and have more prizes so more kids could win.”

The Moose Lodge event is a nonprofit effort, Grazier said.

“We charge 50-cents because it’s not free to buy all the candy,” she said, “but no kid is ever turned away who doesn’t have 50 cents.”

Preparations for the hunt took place throughout winter, Grazier said.

“We’ve been planning this since December,” she said. “We had meetings every week, sending out letters for donations, going to businesses and asking for help, putting up signs. It’s just a lot of different work to get everything organized and make sure there’s enough candy for everybody.”

The event is a favorite for the lodge, according to Grazier.

“This is the actually, for the Moose Lodge, the biggest volunteer event we have,” she said. “We have the most volunteers come for the Easter egg hunt.”

One volunteer, Macey Krotts, 14, wore an Easter bunny suit and handed out tickets for free ice cream cones to the participating children. The children all smiled seeing her, Krotts said.

“I just got a picture with them, too,” she said. “It makes me feel good that I’m helping out the community.”

Grazier said she is always pleased by the community’s enthusiastic response.

“We have a lot that show up every year, and they were actually waiting for us when we got here to set up this morning,” she said.

Grazier was particularly grateful, as well, for the cooperative weather.

“I was scared because there was a lot of snow last week on the field, and I did a lot of praying and it went away,” she said. “The best thing about the turf is that it’s not muddy. We did luck out.”

The greatest benefit of the event, Grazier said, is seeing the smiles of so many eager young children.

“That’s the best thing is the kids, seeing how happy they are even to win a ball,” she said. “Everybody gets stuff out on the field, so they’re happy.”

At 12:15 p.m. the air horn sounded and per tradition, the field was cleared in 90 seconds.