BRIDGEPORT It takes a lot of people to dye 80 dozen eggs.
For the past eight years, the Quad City Eagles have enlisted the help of area residents of all ages to help get ready for the annual Easter egg hunt in Marina Park, 801 Jefferson Ave.
It’s a big job, with hundreds of children turning out for the Saturday morning event. Volunteers prepare the hard-boiled eggs, stuff even more plastic eggs with candy and create prize baskets.
This week, help came from about 15 residents at Harmony House Health Care Center, 100 River Plaza in Brewster, as well as parents, other adult volunteers and the children themselves.
“They enjoy it. They look forward to it,” said Harmony House Activities Director Melody Ervin.
Donning their bunny ears for the occasion, Harmony House residents made quick work of 15 dozen eggs.
“I think it’s fun doing this,” resident Gwen Armbruster said as she dipped an egg into blue dye Wednesday afternoon. “I always enjoyed helping my kids color eggs. This makes us remember doing it with our kids.”
Eagles member Pat Schweigert said dying eggs with the seniors every year is “just as much fun as doing it with the kids.”
“To me, the most fun part is seeing them with their ears,” she said. “And they just love it, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Ervin said the residents also fill plastic eggs with candy for an Easter egg hunt hosted at Harmony House for the employees’ children.
“It gets them into the spirit of Easter,” Ervin said. “Of course they eat a few (pieces of candy). Why not?”
“I enjoy watching them,” Ruby Field, president of the residents’ council, said of the children who visit.
Thursday at the Eagles Club, 1030 Columbia Ave., there was a bigger turnout this year of children looking to ingest some sugar and paint 65 dozen eggs.
“I’m making a bunch of Seahawk-colored eggs,” 5-year-old T.J. Mosier declared as he plopped two more eggs into cups of green and blue dye.
Other children didn’t seem to have a particular coloring method.
“I’m just colliding colors together,” said Cambria Swogger, 11, of Bridgeport. She and Estrella Toga, 11, carefully applied dye to their eggs using brushes.
Toga said this was her first time coloring eggs at the Eagles.
“It’s so random,” she said of her technique, swirling a brush through paint. “I’m just going with the flow.”
Eagles member and egg hunt coordinator Dianne Sleeper said she thought this year’s event was a success.
“The kids all had fun, they did a great job,” she said. “Thanks to all the adults who came and helped.”
While children listened to high-tempo dance music, ate cookies and drank juice, they were careful to avoid the pool table where 30 prize baskets sat waiting for Saturday’s hunt.
Ten baskets would go to the winners in each of three age groups: 1-3, 4-6 and 7-8.
While the egg-coloring events are a fairly new tradition, the Eagles’ egg hunt has been ongoing for more than a decade, Sleeper said, noting that it usually draws families from Brewster and other towns as well.
Easter egg hunts were planned in several area towns Saturday, including Pateros, Mansfield, Omak, Tonasket, Grand Coulee, Riverside, Winthrop, Conconully and Oroville.
Egg hunts are planned today at 10 a.m. in Nespelem at the Colville Tribal Convalescent Center, 1 Convalescent Center Blvd., and at 1 p.m. in Republic at the Eagle Track Raceway, on Airport Road south of town.