By Denise Allabaugh, Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice
WILKES-BARRE — Hundreds of children and families came to Kistler Elementary School on Saturday for the South Wilkes-Barre Residents’ Association’s first egg hunt.
George Brown, president of the South Wilkes-Barre Residents’ Association, said the association partnered with many different groups to hold the egg hunt.
The groups included Shriners Hospitals for Children, the city firefighters’ union, the Wilkes-Barre NAACP Youth Council, Luzerne County Community College, Firwood United Methodist Church, Rolling Mill Hill Residents’ Association and South Wilkes-Barre Skyhawks.
About 45 special needs children attended an egg hunt in the morning and they received baskets filled with things like stuffed animals and coloring books.
Each of the hundreds of children who came in the afternoon received five eggs and they picked prizes. Several area businesses donated the prizes, Brown said.
“Everybody leaves with a smile on their face and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.
Ten-year-old Daniel Torna and his 8-year-old cousin Kaylin Chavez were among the children who left with smiles.
Torna, a fourth grader at Kistler Elementary School, showed the prizes he received which included chalk, a toy rocket ship and coupons for McDonald’s and Burger King.
“It was nice. It was really fun,” he said. “We never did this in Kistler before.”
His mother, Shirley Torna, said the egg hunt was “awesome.”
“The kids are having fun,” she said. “All the work that they put into this was awesome. Everything they are doing for the community is very appreciated. It’s good to have these events for the kids.”
Wilkes-Barre resident Tonyia Palmatier brought her 10-year-old daughter Emma and 2-year-old daughter Ellie to the egg hunt and they showed the prizes they received included stickers, bubbles and chalk.
“I liked the way they did the prizes,” Palmatier said. “It was nice the way they set it up.”
The Easter Bunny, Cinderella and Tux attended the egg hunt and Wilkes-Barre firefighters brought a fire truck.
Robin Shudak, a member of the South Wilkes-Barre Residents’ Association, helped decorate for the event and she said hundreds of volunteers from different groups helped organize it.
“I’m overwhelmed by the amount of people who came out,” Shudak said. “The joy on their faces was something that was overwhelming. They had so much fun.”
Other Easter egg hunts also were held throughout Luzerne County on Saturday.
The Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association held an egg hunt on Public Square in the morning. The Easter bunny arrived on a fire truck and children ages 10 and under grabbed more than 5,000 eggs filled with candy and prizes.
An egg hunt also was held at Hanover Area High School in the morning and Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance, Pittston City Police Department, Pittston City Bureau of Fire and Chris Latona sponsored an egg hunt at Jefferson Park for children up to age 12.
The Greater Pittston YMCA held its annual “Egg Dip” on Saturday and children swam in the pool to find colored Easter eggs.