On A Roll

Published 3:33 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012

FARMVILLE – New Life Assembly of God, Northview Community Church and the Town of Farmville have hatched a sweet idea for the coming Easter holiday.

An Easter egg hunt.

Now, we know what you're thinking-hide a few eggs and let the children have at it; what's the big deal about that?

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This hunt will be huge-football field size huge, as in Prince Edward County High School's field. And yes, there will be lots of plastic eggs, to the tune of 25,000 of them.

While that'll make it eggciting (sorry, couldn't help it), what will make this event, scheduled at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, as big as RGIII on NFL draft day is that a portion of the eggs will be tossed from a helicopter just before the start of the festivities.

Perhaps making for an eggsilarating moment. (OK, we'll stop.)

“…We spent the last three days, actually, putting all the 25,000 eggs together,” New Life Children's Pastor Josh Simpson told The Herald in a March 22 interview. “And…we filled just…over a thousand bags of candy.”

A feat that would involve a team of volunteers.

“Our church has really stepped it up this year with both helping out and bringing candy and then financial giving,” Simpson said. “And then, also, just the hands-on that it's taken for them to put everything together…We knocked it out in three days. I mean, it was amazing.”

Students from New Life Christian Academy worked on putting the eggs together; adults weighed the bags assuring the bags were equal in weight. It was sort of an assembly line sort of thing.

Simpson has heard and seen an egg drop from a helicopter before and wanted to bring that to Farmville. He contacted the airport simply asking for someone who has a helicopter and was given the name of Jim Price. Price, Simpson further detailed, contacted a friend, Paul Jackson, from Chesapeake, who had a larger helicopter.

Things were lining up for the big event.

“We're not gonna be able to drop 25,000 eggs,” Simpson said. “But we're gonna drop as many as we can.”

New Life's regular Easter egg hunts began with about 2,000 eggs some six years ago, and has steadily grown-shifting from an inside of the building hunt (due to rain) that first year to the blacktop outside last year.

Of course, adding eggs along the way. (Last year, there were some 15,000.)

“The background is we've just been doing it,” Simpson said. “I mean it's a fun event that can be done. We don't ask for anything in return. It's really just an opportunity for us to just have fun and give back.”

This year marks the first time for moving it off the church site and also a teaming up with Farmville and Northview Community Church (located in the Student Baptist Union near Longwood University).

Town Recreation Director Chris Bolt explained he got involved basically through a phone call. Simpson asked if he would be interested in helping and he said sure and asked what can they do to help.

“It's a community event and so (we) just want to get as many people out there as possible and…it's all about the kids,” Bolt said.

Bolt would also reflect that the Town did its own hunt in the past, but he figured why hold his own and compete.

“It just makes sense to have one big event,” Bolt said.

Simpson also noted, “I think teaming up's awesome, too…It's not about New Life. It's not about Northview. It's not about the Town. It's just everybody.”

As for the hunt, the number of eggs the older children (the children will be divided into two groups up to the oldest at age 12) will determine candy prizes. In addition, there will also be five major prizes with the collection of certain specific eggs.

They're asking those who win those prizes to come to New Life that Sunday so they can celebrate with them, Simpson detailed.

The Saturday fun begins at 2 p.m., but participants may want to bring their egg collecting baskets and arrive a bit early (just after 1 p.m. was suggested). Wristbands are planned to be handed out for the children to help separate them by age); volunteers are being line up to help the event run smoothly.

Bolt also cited that the event is for the community, not just for Farmville or New Life.

“It's for everybody,” he said. “Cumberland, Buckingham, wherever. Just come on out.”