JBLM children dash to find hidden prize egg

By Spc. Ryan Hallock/28th PAD on April 24, 2011

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - Children's anticipation and excitement built up like runners at the start of a marathon while they eagerly stood fast to gather up Easter eggs during the annual Easter Dash at the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fest Tent April 16.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord families watched as their children inched closer and closer to the starting line as the countdown commenced during the MWR sponsored event.

On the count of one, they barreled into the field of balloons where Easter eggs lay hidden, waiting to be collected just as fast as the children could get their hands on them.

The eggs, to some of the younger children's dismay, did not contain any sweets. The object of this Easter event, however, was to find the special prize egg, strewn about with hundreds of other eggs.

The prize egg, with unique markings and slightly larger than the rest, was scattered underneath the hundreds of balloons now floating around creating obstacles for the children to navigate.

To obtain the prize egg would prove to be no easy task during this Easter Dash.

There were three different heats in the fun-packed event comprised of children aging from three and under to 12-year-olds, each heat claiming a winner.

Balloons popped everywhere as the children had a blast laughing and running around the balloon field collecting as many eggs as they could fit in their baskets.

It did not take long for the last egg to be snatched up, leaving the children hoping the prize egg lay in their baskets, now filled to the brim with Easter eggs.

"It's all about the children," said Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers President Sgt. Danielle Batiste. "Our whole goal was to make this fun."

CeeJay Byrd, an 11-year-old who found the prize egg for his age group, said his favorite part of the dash was, "falling on my face to get the winning egg."

Pain is only temporary when prizes are at stake. 

Byrd and his family were the winners of a one-night stay at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington and passes to the Hands on Children's Museum in Olympia, Washington.

After each heat was completed and prizes awarded, the children had the opportunity to meet and have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny.