An Easter weekend that's all spring
Overhead Saturday afternoon was a glorious spring day just made for an Easter Egg Hunt, even if the ground underfoot at Stonehouse Park was a bit soggy from recent rains. Zoe Kendall, 4, enjoyed a view of the festivities from atop dad Rob's shoulders. The Kiwanis Club, organizer of this year's event, estimated 1,000 children collected 6,000 eggs. There was also storytelling, a petting zoo, bake sale and raffle. (Click any photo to enlarge it.)
Children not only listened to stories, they took part in acting them out on the stage set up at the park.
The petting zoo offered one-on-one visits with a llama, goats, rabbits and chicks. The llama enjoyed cones filled with feed, not ice cream.
John Corner, almost 3, liked the baby chicks.
The 3 1/2-year-old triplets Alyssa, Riley and Makena shopped the bake sale with parents Casey and Steve Quilao. Proceeds from the sale of donated bake goods go to fund the Egg Hunt and other community events.
Twenty-month-old Brooke Corsaut proved to be a successful egg collector when she took part in the first group, for ages 2 and under.
Madelyn and Rory Torres, 14 months, compared eggs in their matching baskets and gave each a shake for good measure.
Blake Bryant, 4, got in the spirit of the day and posed for family photos.
Madeline Faughn, 3, took a look at the egg-covered playing fields before the big hunt took place.
This is our first year attending the fabled Rancho Murieta Egg Hunt and we are so excited! I've been hearing about the fantastic events planned and to me, this event is one of the reasons Rancho Murieta is such a wonderful place to live. The whole community is coming together to give our kids a great time. Judy Musgrove has put it in overdrive and booked three, fabulous children authors to read their books out loud. Way to support love of learning Judy! You are a gem. Also, we are very happy there will be a Petting Zoo, KinderMusic and Studio 16 Super Star Dancers and more! Can't wait. Thank you Kiwanis Club and watch for the Easter Bunny!
I think Adrienne is right and the Easter Egg hunt happened earlier than scheduled. I put this under the heading of "mistake".
It's tough dealing with disappointed kids. No parent likes to do it. I'd just like to say that it was an amazing, free event and a beautiful example of lots of community organizations coming together to make a practically zero cost, fund raising event happen. The freebie Easter Baskets alone were just glorious. I plan on helping Kiwanis and, hopefully, Judy Musgrove from the word "Go" next year. Adrienne, I hope you'll join me. Trouble shooting is always valuable. My son absolutely loved the petting zoo - a new addition this year. And the Sheriffs boat was so cool! Thank you again RM. I always thank my lucky stars to live here.
Hi Adrienne: I know what you mean...I had 8 kids going to the egg hunt...we arrived early and the little ones had a great time but the older ones (7 and up) were disappointed with having to wait until later. Everyone became very antsy and, I decided the best thing was to take the little ones home and bring the bigger ones back at their appointed time. After rushing home, feeding everyone, and rushing back, trying to find a parking spot, to rush to our appointed area to find that they had gone on ahead and the hunt was over was a total disaster. I had to deal with very upset older kids (and there are kids still upset this morning) and numerous ticked off family members. Our Easter was ruined. It just seems so obvious..it's a basic point of any management of any project...if you state or print a particular time...you stay with it....this was a big screw up. All I know is that my family is extremely leery of doing anything for RM now and in the future. Although I can truly appreciate all the hard work that goes into these kind of projects and God Bless the volunteers...there needs to be some basic management skills utilized in future events.
I invite you to join me and hopefully Adrienne in working on this event next year. Sounds like you have a lot to offer in trouble shooting skills. We could put your older kids to work with my son and his friends and they could participate too. It'd be a fun way to give back to our excellent community. PM me if you are interested - we should probably hit the after Easter sales to get the good closeout deals. I think that's how they were able to offer so many beautiful Easter baskets for free this year.
Glenda, Since this whole event was FREE; to allow this event to "Ruin" your holiday is amazing to hear. It also bothers me that you would complain about any of it especially when you didn't offer up any help yourself. It seems to me that this might have been an opportunity to teach your kids about life and being grateful for what they did get to do instead of what didn't happen in your mind. Since I know many of those who did put in lots of hours to make this a special event for all of the kids in Rancho, your comments are sad to hear. I did some volunteer time at the Sheriffs table yesterday myself, and so I noticed how some of the kids behaved at our table and how the parents reinforced that behavior. It all starts with you Glenda, so become a volunteer in the community and make a difference instead of complaining about what you think should have happened.
I want to take a moment and thank all of the many volunteers who came out to make this event such a great one. The Easter Egg Hunt was more then just the collection of eggs ( 5800 were stuffed by the girl scouts (many different troops) moms, dads and volunteers) This literrally took hours to accomplishe. Meghan Garrison and Jeanie LeBlanc stepped in and organized collection sites and drop off points and collected the eggs and candy that were needed for our event. I applaud you both and the many people that helped you.
Having the fantastic Authors, Erin Deeley, Lynn Hazen and Phil Silver were such a treat to have in our community. Giving inspiration and motivation to the children and adults alike - All I can Say here is WOW!
Stephanie Milton - performing, her music for the audience was such a delight! I love butterflies, and her voice is just beautiful.
That Sheriff's department! What can I say! I met Scott, the motorcycle cop, who was so very nice and spoke with the children, I also ventured over and looked at the Marine Kraft on Display and their booth and the many different things - that electronic fingerprinting was such a great thing! My own grandchildren and adult children took advantage of this fine feature.
The MOUNTED POLICE - they came! I saw them riding around our field and thought how our community was simply pulling together to show the entire audience a great time!
SPCA - They were there with their dogs - and I even had a couple of quilts for them and got so busy I never got a chance to deliver them to the volunteers. You know, we had alot of animals around and what a great way to teach the children that ALL animals need to be cared for!
The Petting Zoo - Oh My, every time I ventured near - there were children all around - getting a look at the goats, the llama, the bunnies, the chicks - it was just so great! Thank you Rose Kurtz for coming and sharing this with us all.
Easter Bunny Pictures - Kiwanis donates these pictures every year - they cover the cost of the printer, the ink the paper and the camera that they use. Brittney Widler made a grand Easter Bunny and I know they had some pictures left over - that people have not picked up - but this was just a great thing for the children to participate in.
Face Painting - Thank you Nancy Darden and all the volunteers - I saw hundreds of children with their faces painted or arm and I know that those volunteers worked non-stop to make the little ones happy.
Oh, I ventured over to the Bake Sale and had a yummy brownie - I absolutely could not talk because it just melted in my mouth - so I know that many families enjoyed the many baked goods that were donated by all from this grand community.
Bronwyn Anthony - you are a dear - you sold all of your baked sale items and did such a fantastic job - what do you say to the moms group and the many other people that baked for us!
Plaza Foods donated the water for us to sell and RMA donated the ice chests Filled with Ice! Pamela Haines sold out of water and had such fun visiting with everyone and sharing stories!
Raffle prizes - Louise Gumbinger - we would not know what to do without you. Your great organization and thought made this raffle give away go so smooth! And what did you think of those raffle prizes? My goodness - we had something for everyone on that table. Mr. Frank Hashorva - a grand raffle ticket seller - had signs on his golf cart and was selling tickets to the masses.
Hip Entertainment, Nellie Bloom and James - Mr. Brian Skinner, Sierra Mobile Sound - WOW! with your expertise and aid we had a P.A. system that people could hear! And Thank you Rancho Murieta Country Club for helping us out with the stage! and all of our stage movers and setup and tear down! This was something that just was completed. People stepping in and helping where ever they saw a need.
Did anyone venture over and learn about the Summer Camp that Nelie Bloom is doing this summer? What about the new business in our community Fit 2 U ???? There was so much information to share with our community!
Al Brown, California FairPlay, and Sharon, from UC DAVIS M.I.N.D. Institute - what a great way to let people know about the non-profits right here in our community that are here working for our Children! And Sharon gave away many many balloons.
Relay for Life was there too! Did you stop by and speak with these fine people? What a great way to show support to those in our community and elsewhere that cancer - in whatever form - is something that we all have acquaintance with - and to learn of the vast support and resources that are available to help us - this just makes it a bit easier to deal with all the emotions and physical trauma that a loved one endures.
Studio 16 - Lissa Smith! What Can I Say! Every one of those girls did a fantastic job of showing us what they are learning. I don't know about you - but I simply can't do a curtsey and here are these little ones doing it with ease. I had NO idea she had 40 girls of all ages that came out to perform for us. And what great exposure for the dancers! It isn't easy to get up in front of a crowd and show what you can do.
The Fire Truck CAME! They were on a call - But they CAME! I was so thrilled to see those little guys running around with their plastic fireman helmet on!
Kathryn Duffek and Heather Duffek and Cheyanne Greenhaw - THANKYOU! They not only helped with the many raffle prizes that we had for the children but they also decorated, created signs, boxes, and manned the tables as well. Kathryn is our web editor and she has done a great job in keeping things updated and posted.
Jenner Crane - thank you! Awesome is simply the word for the posters and the banners that were designed.
Jordon and her brother, Jacob and Alex from the Boy Scouts - many others I want to thank you. Please don't be offended if I haven't named you personally! I KNOW YOU HELPED AND I THANK EVERYONE FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.
It is just hard to think of every thing to say -
Sig-1 and Tayco Screen Print - without your donation, our posters and banners would not have gotten printed. Thank You!
From the setup crew (thank you Blake Carmichael and everyone else) to the Clean UP Crew - from the many students who earned their community service hours and those that just joined in to help because they wanted to - I salute you all and want you to know that this community is a grand one - people helping people is what this community is all about.
Last but certainly not least is the Kiwanis Crew! Having our Kiwanis table at the event for people to see, learn more about who we are and what we do - explaining about OKC Corral and answering questions, they are a phenomenal group of people. Clint Souza for the great field layout - right down to the garbage cans - Bernie Bowes, our fantastic MC, Al Dolata - the Kiwanis President - Joe Mazzoni Sr. and John Holm, Carl Gaither and many many more - THANK YOU.
Apex Pest Control, Pius Kamber Construction and Jim Moody - thank you for your monetary donation to help us with the expenses that we incurred and the many others who did like kind donations. It is people like you and everyone above that makes this community so grand.
Suffice it to say, our event was a grand one - yes there were a few mistakes and bumps, but we are learning and know that because of mistakes we learn how to do things even better. I saw so many happy faces - The Easter Egg Hunt is more then just the Hunt - It is the gathering of the community to show the children a special time.
Judy Musgrove, Easter Egg Hunt Chairperson
In response about the time mishap, this exact same "mistake" happened two years ago and people did complain about it. It is a real bummer to bring excited kids out there and miss out only because someone made the decision to change the schedule last minute. This is a huge, voluntary effort which is part of what makes RM such a special place to live with children but I don't think there is an adequate explanation as to why this same issue has occurred time and again...
The event was just awesome. It just gets better every year and the kids just love it. I can not think of an event of this size for free anywhere else, and have so many happy kids faces. If you missed an egg hunt, it's your own fault. My wife and I split up under pressure from our 5 year old so she would not miss her age bracket. At an event such as this, you must be proactive because things happen (it's volunteer, give them credit for all the work they have done). Volunteers were passing out schedules with event times. This is on the calander for next year, and we look foward to it.
Count our family (and extended family) as people who truly enjoyed the entire day. The volunteer tables and activities for the kids were huge hits. As the event continues to expand, it's great to see more and more people getting involved in the community. We have a lot to offer our kids!
Regarding the time/schedule confusion, it's unfortunate that some kids missed out on the egg hunt. My experience has been that the first hunt has started on/close to the right time, and then the second and third hunts just follow along once the previous area has been cleared. I'm not sure there is any need to delay the start of the next one once things get started.
Possibly the best way to do this is announce the first hunt time, and indicate that the following hunts will occur approximately 5-10 minutes thereafter. This way people know when to be in the hunt area, and can use their time accordingly. Realistically, I think this is how each year has run, maybe it's just not posted as such.
In any case, this continues to be a wonderful event. So, so, so many kids of all ages enjoyed all three hunts, and I saw only smiles among the hundreds of kids (and parents) running about.
Kudos to the organizers of the event. I do believe it just keeps getting better.
Pamela Haines, Kiwanis volunteer
May I point out that this is the first year the Kiwanis Club has been in charge of the event. It was run by the Community Club for a couple of decades until last year. The Community club was a loose knit volunteer organization that has since dispersed. Now that Kiwanis is in charge, the volunteer base is strong, continuity is well planned, open discussion will take place on short comings and their fixes, and most importantly of all, appreciation for successful volunteer efforts will be sincerely publicized.
Thank you Judy Musgrove and everyone else she mentioned in her letter to rm.com.
I really appreciate Nellie Bloom's response to the complaints about egg hunt timing: jump in for next year and help make it right.
I think Myrna is trying to gently remind folks about unrealistic expectations, coping, and the pitfalls of jamming too much in the day. One cannot expect a parking space to stay available while running home for a break. Perhaps a picnic lunch/snack packed at home is the answer to hungry children.
All in all, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood (homage to Mr. Rogers).
Thank you Blake and everyone else for your comments. You are so exactly right about the hunt times. Once the children start lining up - it is very very hard to control them - they are so excited to get onto the field.
The only ones that really start at a time that is scheduled is the 2 and under. For those of you there you saw how all three sides of the field were simply surrounded. They are the ones that receive the most help with their egg gathering and this is the only age group that will take about 10 minutes or so to gather their eggs etc.
Once they are completed - the next field is surrounded on three sides - this group is harder to contain - they are all excited and want to get on the field - this is where it is so important for the parents to help here - but instead of the 10 or 15 minutes that is technically scheduled for the event to take place it all happens in about 60 seconds!
Then we are on to the third field - and this is surrounded on all 4 sides and the kids are really antsy - keeping them contained is pretty difficult and keeping children off the respective fields to fill there baskets is also a chore that gets addressed. So when it looks like i have the majority of the children chomping at the sidelines - i let them go.
Even though we try to cover all the bases - and try to think of all the mishaps - One thing that parents need to do (and most do this) but share their eggs with someone else that has little or no eggs. No child should run away from a field with a basket full of eggs. There was enough for 8 - 10 eggs per child - yet I saw some baskets that were full of eggs and others that had none.
Here are some issues I have already addressed and would welcome other positive feedback and solutions to help the event be even a smoother running one:
- Walkie Talkies - There was no way to communicate to the MC what I needed or info I needed to relay
- Extra Eggs held off so if there are any children that didn't get any eggs that I could fill their little baskets and bring back the smiles
- Signs on the respective fields so people would definitely know which field their children belonged on
- APPROXIMATE times for the 2nd and 3rd hunts - this is never technically adhered to because of the above explanation
ON THE SPOT SOLUTION TO THE CHILDREN THAT DIDN'T GET ANY EGGS:
We had prize easter egg baskets for each age group - we did have extra baskets as well - when I saw a little one that was in tears, i took them by the hand and gave them a prize basket.
I waited about 20 - 25 minutes for those that did get an egg with a prize label in it to claim their prize - when I saw the many prize baskets that were still not claimed - I had the MC announce for the children that didn't receive any eggs to gather around me. I then took them by age group - the youngest 2 and under went first and each got a prize basket - then the 3-5 year olds went next and received a prize basket - and last but definitely not least - i was able to include the 6 year olds. The children 7 and up I apologized to and their parents. I was so hoping I had enough to go around to all - but I didn't.
There was one parent that came to claim his prize for his son towards the end of the event - and I apologized to him as well and explained that that basket (since it wasn't claimed) went to a child that had received NO eggs at all.
I just wanted you to know that I was totally aware of what happened - a mistake was made - this mistake tried to be fixed - and even though some children were a bit unhappy, there was so much more that was going on for them to enjoy.
Judy Musgrove, Chair
My family hasn't attended the Easter festivities for a few years, simply because my kids are now grown. (although, strangely enough, I haven't gotten a day older) :)
But thank yous are still in order to the wonderful volunteers who continue to make Murieta such an amazing place to live. Thank you for taking precious time away from your own families to create happy memories for others.
You are appreciated!
In response to your comments about the prize bask
"ON THE SPOT SOLUTION TO THE CHILDREN THAT DIDN'T GET ANY EGGS:
We had prize easter egg baskets for each age group - we did have extra baskets as well - when I saw a little one that was in tears, i took them by the hand and gave them a prize basketets: "
I wasn't even going to mention this because whats done is done, but since you brought it up... When i realized what had happened, and my son was in tears, I went over to the volunteers with the prize baskets, I talked to one of the girls, told her I realized the baskets weren't "for sale" but asked if there was ANY way i could BUY one, I told her that my son had missed out because of the time change, and was so upset, she said no.
I think that some people are a little too defensive about the issue. Of course everyone understands this is a free event, run solely by volunteers, and OF COURSE that is appreciated!! I personally in no way meant to offend anyone. I was merely stating the fact that the planning was BAD, and it WAS!!! You cannot post a time, and then ignore it when the time comes! ESPECIALLY when children are involved. And in response to the guy who said "if you missed it, it's your own fault" well, we were there at 1pm... waiting... not sure how that could have been our fault, AND we went to the area for the older kids egg hunt TWENTY MINUTES early to make sure he didn't miss it, and it was already over. Should we have camped out overnight?
My family had a wonderful time. I invited my brother and sister and there families as well. Seeing all three of the boys under two chasing after eggs was fantastic. My 5 year old had a nice time as well. This is our third year and we enjoy it every year. Thank you to everyone who helps out with this event and all the other wonderful events in Rancho Murieta. It is what makes this community wonderful.
As to the concerns, I support the idea of approximate times. This would seem to work.
But Really I just wanted to say THANK YOU for a great time.
Reading these posts just makes me think that for some folks things will never be good enough. Here is my story... I have a 2 1/2 year old son. We missed the first two egg hunts (was going to go in the second one, but time ran out) and he had to go with the older kids. When he was told to go he ran out and was completely swarmed by tons of older kids. He totally freaked, ran screaming and scared to death from the egg hunt and didn't get any eggs. Here is the silver lining... several kids (3 or 4 of them) saw this happen, saw him crying and gave him some of their eggs. So sweet! I don't care if their parents told them to or not. They did it with a smile on their face! The attitude that I chose to walk away with was this... We live in a great community that does this for the kids for free (think July 4th also!), we could have nothing. Also, what great people/kids we have here that would give a little guy some eggs because he didn't get any!!! Right on Rancho Murieta!!