April 17, 2021

EGG-STATIC: Easter egg hunt brings community together after a year hiatus

Newton YMCA and Hy-Vee organize holiday event ‘to bring a little bit of joy and excitement’

Audree Daudelin spotted a cluster of Easter eggs with her name on ‘em.

Before the YMCA and Hy-Vee Easter Egg Hunt kicked off Saturday afternoon in Newton, Audree and her father, Derrick Daudelin, were busy planning their approach. The two obtained a secluded spot in the YMCA soccer field. There was a pile of eggs Audree could cram into her bag in one swoop.

Tucked inside each of the plastic eggs were small candies and toys. If kids were lucky enough, they’d find a slip of paper encased in the colorful shell, which could be swapped out for a more special prize at the end. This should sound familiar to those who are familiar with the 2019 hunt.

As for the 2020 Easter egg hunt? Like many things last year, it was cancelled because of the pandemic. Derrick Daudelin said community events like this are good for the children. Everybody wants to participate in these types of activities to feel like they’re returning to some type of normalcy.

“It’s been quite a while,” Derrick Daudelin said while looking upon the crowds of people gathered behind the YMCA. “… I would like to see this permanently. It’s been a weird year and a little while now.”

Lucas Hughes, CEO of the Newton YMCA, said although the organization was saddened to cancel, staff knew it was the right decision given the climate at the time. Although the pandemic is still a part of everyone’s lives, Hughes said organizers now know how to effectively manage larger groups.

“Our hope is that families feel safe enough to come outdoors and enjoy a nice Easter Day with their children and YMCA staff,” he said.

Which is exactly what Holly Johnson and her son, Ezra Johnson, were looking forward to. Holly Johnson said the first time they had attended the Easter egg hunt was in 2019, but it’s “super exciting” to be able to participate in the event once again.

“And I like that there’s nice weather,” Holly Johnson said. “Once the weather started changing and we were able to be outside and have more space and stuff like that, it feels good to get back in the community for sure.”

The Newton YMCA is the town’s community center, Hughes said, and staff strive to inspire togetherness; organizing the annual Easter egg hunt allows the YMCA to bring that sense of community — and normalcy — in a safe and open environment.

“The YMCA and our partners over at Hy-Vee wish to bring a little bit of joy and excitement back into our community by hosting a fun-filled Easter Day for our little ones,” Hughes said.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

Christopher Braunschweig

Reporter with a strong penchant for community journalism.