Planning an outdoor event for the last day of winter can be a risky proposition, and when forecasters predicted snow for most of March 18 and into the morning of March 19, organizers of the Elbert County Community Coalition for Outreach's Annual …
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Planning an outdoor event for the last day of winter can be a risky proposition, and when forecasters predicted snow for most of March 18 and into the morning of March 19, organizers of the Elbert County Community Coalition for Outreach's annual Spring Egg Hunt had to act fast.Instead of sending the children traipsing through the 4 inches that fell on Fawn Valley Park in Kiowa to dig eggs out of the snow, ECCO Director Pam Witucki transformed the event into a trick-or-treat styled “bag-o-eggs” affair inside ECCO's thrift store at the Lion's Hall in Kiowa.“We've been doing this for eight years, and this is the first year that we've had bad weather,” said Witucki. “Seven years, I guess we've been pretty lucky.”From 10 a.m. until the eggs are gone read the flier announcing the event on March 19, and the first families showed up just as ECCO's thrift store opened on Saturday morning with kids bundled up for winter — boots replaced bonnets, winter coats in place of dresses.Many of the younger children ran to the first bags they could find, but others, like 5-year-old Bradley Barnhart, deployed a strategy of search and swap for the fullest bag they could find.Witucki said that the event typically draws anywhere from 50 to 100 children each year depending on the weather, so her crew spent a good part of the day on Friday and Saturday morning stuffing grocery bags with around two dozen eggs each and stashing the bags throughout the thrift store.In addition to the eggs filled with candy, gum, and pennies, each child was allowed to pick a book from the children's rack and the older kids selected from a selection of chapter books. In addition, they received a $1 coupon good for any item in the thrift store.As an incentive for parents to bring the plastic eggs to the store after the Easter Holiday, Witucki is offering a second coupon for each bag of eggs recycled to the store. The eggs will be used next year when Easter falls nearly three weeks later, and her hope is to return to a streak of good weather.The egg hunt is sponsored by ECCO, the Town of Kiowa, and the Kiowa Merchant Association.
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