PLATTSBURGH — For the last week, Olivia Kenney has scoured through her home in search of brightly colored eggs as she practiced for the annual CVPH Easter egg hunt."She's been talking about it all week," said her mother, Lori Sheporaitis."We've been practicing at home and she's been so excited to come. She's already scoping out the eggs.""I like finding them. The pink ones are the best," said the excited 4-year-old as she eagerly waited for the hunt to begin Saturday morning.
Kenney was one of many children who lined the hospital lawn counting down the seconds until they could race across the frosty grass and fill their baskets with some of the 10,000 candy-filled treasures."I'm going to grab as many as I can get," said 10-year-old Rebekha Pulsifer of Jay, who braved the chilly morning temperatures to enjoy her first Easter egg hunt at the hospital.When the final seconds passed, Kenney and the others swarmed the lawn in a mad dash to fill their baskets with as many festively colored eggs as they could grab.And within a minute and 28 seconds the job was done."It's referred to as the fastest minute in Plattsburgh," said hospital spokesperson Chris Blake."It's becoming a popular tradition. Everyone really looks forward to it."Twins Conor and Seth Bushey, 4, were pleased with their bountiful treasures after the hunt."We did a good job," said Conor as he peered inside his plastic bucket, eyeing his pile of candy-filled treats. "We got a lot of eggs."Some of the kids found more than just a tasty treat inside their eggs. Six kids found the "special" eggs that promised $50 savings bond certificates.
For many families, the annual event is a good way to kick off the holiday weekend and meet the Easter bunny who greeted the excited children as they waited for the race to begin."It's a great community event," said Peggy Wilcox, who brought her three children to the hunt for the first time this year."It's a great way to start the Easter weekend."To prepare for this year's CVPH auxiliary event, volunteers Jerry and Edda Kelly began filling the eggs in January, while local students from Upward Bound kept busy taping the mounds of neon-colored eggs.Local high school students from the Plattsburgh, Seton Catholic and Northern Adirondack Key Clubs also turned out to help scatter the eggs before the hunt, as did the Upward Bound volunteers."It's great that all the volunteers do this for the kids," said Kim Blair-Maglione, who brought her daughter, Christina, for the second year in a row."She loves coming. We'll definitely come back next year."Hospital officials were pleased with this year's turnout, but noted that some couldn't wait for the countdown to finish.As the children waited patiently for the fun to begin, a hungry squirrel decided to beat the crowd and nibble his way to a tasty treat.But for the sake of the kids, he did leave behind the chewed and colorful plastic egg.