Monday, December 22, 2014

Egg hunt draws huge turnout

A cold, wet covering of snow didn’t dampen early Easter celebrations here Saturday morning.
More than 345 children, along with their parents, lined up along Scott Street to participate in the first-annual Community Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt hosted by the Fort Frances Kiwanis Club, in conjunction with “The Shops on Scott Street.”

“It was an incalculable success,” enthused Scott Krienke-Turvey, a Kiwanis member and owner of Ink Spotz Apparel+.
“We had way more people come out than we expected—almost double,” he noted.
Although the club and local businesses had prepared for 200 youngsters, they were able to accommodate nearly 150 more.
“We know to plan bigger next year,” Krienke-Turvey chuckled.
“Kudos to the business community for stepping up to the plate and being a part of this event,” he added.
The Kiwanis Club had asked downtown businesses to take part by either handing out treats supplied by the business, having a mini egg hunt or other activities within their store, or making a donation towards the event.
In the end, some 30-40 businesses participated in some capacity.
Krienke-Turvey said some businesses did have to run out to purchase more goodies for the throngs of kids heading up and down Scott Street, but they all were able to cope with the higher-than-expected turnout.
He admitted organizers were surprised to see the line-up of eager children, which spanned from Ink Spotz Apparel+ east to Portage Avenue and around the corner down to Church Street.
“I think the weather was a favourite of ours because it probably prevented us from having 1,000 kids out,” he laughed, though noting more seriously that organizers would have liked to have better weather.
“We would have got the line taken care of faster because we would have put signs up out on the street,” he noted.
“It wouldn’t have been so congested.
“That was one of the big problems we had—the congestion of everyone trying to enter a small store,” Krienke-Turvey conceded.
In order to begin the Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt, participants signed up at Ink Spotz Apparel+ and received an Easter basket and map of businesses to stop at.
The scavenger hunt then was supposed to end at the courtyard of the Fort Frances Museum, where an Easter Bunny mascot was to be on hand.
Due to the cold, wet weather, however, photos with the Easter Bunny had to be moved indoors at Ink Spotz Apparel+.
Though it was crowded, most people seemed to be in good spirits and offered plenty of positive feedback.
“My kids had a blast,” one mom enthused. “Thanks to all the businesses that participated.
“I’m sure they could barely keep up.”
Besides the goodies each child collected from the participating businesses, a number of prizes were up for grabs for those who completed the scavenger hunt.
The winners were:
•“big” bike (donated by Canadian Tire)—Isabella Avis;
•“small” bike (donated by T-Bone Consulting)—Liam Coats;
•Safeway basket of goodies—Olivia Allen;
•Safeway basket of goodies—Peyton Avis;
•Bunny basket ($150 worth of treats and gift cards)—Rya Hawrylak; and
•gift basket ($150 worth of treats and gift cards)— Brayton Levesque
“Kiwanis wanted to host an event in the community for kids since their focus is on kids,” noted Kiwanian Toey Bone.
She said the club provides funds to local groups and organizations so it often is holding fundraisers—but not this time.
“The Easter committee wanted to do an event that was just a fun, free event that brought the community together and wasn’t going to be asking for too much from anyone,” Bone explained.
Krienke-Turvey said the Kiwanis Club plans to host the event again next year and hopes the Scott Street businesses will join in once again.

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