Children keep eyes on prizes

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It was enough to make a 5-year-old giddy. Standing beside the green field strewn with candy, Cameron Pitt planned his strategy.

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Six-year-old Dani Slusher, of North Augusta, runs while yelling, "I knew it, I knew it. Easter is the best day ever!" Hundreds of children participated in the annual Easter hunt at Lions Field. Organizers just threw candy out, forgoing the typical plastic eggs.   Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Six-year-old Dani Slusher, of North Augusta, runs while yelling, "I knew it, I knew it. Easter is the best day ever!" Hundreds of children participated in the annual Easter hunt at Lions Field. Organizers just threw candy out, forgoing the typical plastic eggs.

"I'm going to run fast and get that candy," he said as he swung his empty basket. "I'll probably get 200,000 pieces."

Children had their choice of dozens of Easter egg hunts this weekend. Cameron was at Lions Memorial Field in North Augusta, where the egg hunt was sponsored by the North Augusta Optimist Club and the city's Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services Department.

"We bring them every year. It's something they look forward to," Brandy Rowley said of her children, Jacob, 9, and Kaylee, 6. "As soon as the Easter season starts up, they are asking are we coming over here."

To provide more candy than usual, the Optimist Club chose not to use plastic eggs this year and simply threw out candy. Optimist member Jan Daniels enjoyed watching the children as they scampered through the candy and picked up select pieces.

"They just like to run," she said. "It's fun to watch them. It's the only reason we exist is to support the youth in the community."

Organizers at Mosaic United Methodist Church in Evans began collecting candy and stuffing eggs months ago and ended up spreading out 6,000 brightly colored eggs on the field at John Pierce Blanchard Stadium.

"The most exciting part is when the kids are lined up waiting for you to say 'Go!' " event coordinator Megan Flores said. "Then it's over in five minutes. But that anticipation and excitement on their faces will make me want to do it again next year."

In addition to the egg hunt, the children enjoyed craft projects, relay races, blowing bubbles and sidewalk chalk.

"I'm thankful to the Mosaic church for doing it. It gives us time to spend with family and show the love for what Christ did for us," said Lakeisha Billingsley, who was at the event with daughter Daija, 7; son David, 4; and a neighbor's child, Tashanka Hartfield, 10.

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