Hundreds of children took part in the Whonnock Community Association’s annual Easter egg hunt this year.
Organizer Shelley Popadiuk thinks about 250 children took part in the event in front of Whonnock Lake community hall.
The event has been taking place for more than 30 years – minus 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic – always on Easter Sunday.
Popadiuk has been organizing it for the last decade.
This year she decided, for the first in-person event since 2019, to do it with a “bang.”
Easter egg hunters were ready for the 11 a.m. start in three different areas set up for the different age groups. Those newborn to four years old were in one area, ages five to nine years in another area, and ages 10 to 12 in another.
They had to collect plastic chips and different types of plastic eggs.
“Each area this year I put in 35 little plastic eggs and when they turned them in they got a solid chocolate bunny,” Popadiuk explained.
She also hid six bunny-shaped eggs, which could be exchanged for a small basket of chocolate and treats.
Then, there were three golden eggs, which – when turned in – were exchanged for a big basket.
“I literally take $1,200 and go buy chocolate,” said the organizer, adding that the event is funded by the Whonnock Community Association.
She made up the baskets herself, giving a little less chocolate in the baskets to the little ones, adding stuffies and bubble wands instead.
The hunt took 45 minutes.
Popadiuk said the children’s reactions to the baskets were priceless.
A boy, around 12-years-old, won the first basket and when Popadiuk handed it to him, he looked at her and exclaimed, “I get all this!”
“That just puts a huge smile on your face,” she said.
Popadiuk loves organizing the egg hunt.
“It’s just a way I love to give back and help out our community,” said Popadiuk. “It’s really just for east Maple Ridge to come together and have a nice day.”
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