Seniors scatter Easter treats for eager kids

They stood at sidewalk’s edge, the afternoon a rainbow combustion of spring, the sun spilling glitter and gold on the waiting, pastel-hued treasure so near — yet, in the waiting, so far away.

Their baskets were at the ready.

The children — some still new to walking, some on the vivid cusp of 10 — waited on the edge of the lawn all the way around Grand Villa Assisted Living on Saturday afternoon. A handful of Grand Villa residents, seated in the shade behind the anxious children, smiled and remembered.

“They’re so excited,” commented resident Alice Carlos. “They know those eggs are filled with candy.”

A Grand Villa Easter tradition of more than 20 years, the event drew upwards of 100 children Saturday to gather the more than 3,000 plastic eggs that residents had spent three days stuffing with candy and at least an hour Saturday scattering across the lawn.

“This is something that our residents really enjoy,” said Rebecca Gray, Grand Villa executive director. “They love filling the eggs, then watching the kids find them.”

In the three years she’s lived at Grand Villa, Carlos has helped fill eggs, then drop them across the lawn. The arthritis has stiffened her shoulders so she can’t toss them, she said, but she can glide across the lawn on her scooter and roll them out bowling-style.

And that’s what the children saw as they arrived before the 2 p.m. starting time: expansive lawn dotted with pastel yellow and pink and blue eggs. Such temptation!

Stacey Walker learned about the egg hunt online, so she brought her daughter, Camilla Topliss, 6, and Camilla was a streak of sparkling pink as she raced across the lawn gathering eggs. Ahlayna and Nathan Baker, 5 and 16 months, tipped their baskets toward their mother, Tina, for admiration, and she effused appropriately.

Erik Packard brought his wife, Yarina and her son, Vladislav, 8, to the egg hunt because, well, why not? It’s Yarina and Vladislav’s first Easter in America, and though Vladislav has significant developmental disabilities, “we thought we’d give it a try,” Erik explained. Even before the egg hunt started, Vladislav picked up a vivid pink egg and held it lightly in his hand, beaming over it.

“This is such a fun part of Easter,” Carlos said. “We love it and the children do, too.”


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