The original item was published from March 21, 2019 9:55 AM to March 21, 2019 2:12 PM
Since 2016, the St. Charles County Parks and Police departments have hosted an Easter egg hunt for children of all ages and abilities at the Youth Activity Park in Dardenne Prairie. This Eggstravaganza is a unique and wonderful event, and a great example of the County and community working together to make special memories for children and their families.
The Eggstravaganza is not just a traditional Easter egg hunt; those can be challenging to nearly impossible for children with disabilities to enjoy. The Eggstravaganza allows children of all abilities to hunt together by age group and features areas for children with mobility equipment to hunt eggs with magnetic sticks, children with visual impairments to hunt for beeping eggs, and children with sensory disabilities and autism to hunt for eggs in a more relaxed atmosphere. All eggs are filled with candy and toy surprises.
The driving force behind the Eggstravaganza’s special needs hunts was Sergeant Steve Case. He served as a commander of the St. Charles County Police Bomb Squad and passed away last summer from cancer. The late Sgt. Case’s son has autism and his vision was to create a County event that kids with similar needs and their families could enjoy. Bomb Squad officers and Parks Department staff gather with event sponsors and the Lutheran High School Roboteers to assemble thousands of eggs for the County’s hunt.
This year’s Eggstravaganza, co-hosted by the National Optometric Student Association, will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 13. The program is free; space is limited to 100 children per hunt and registration is required by April 6. Children of all abilities, ages 3 and under will hunt at 10:30 a.m., ages 4–6 at 11:15 a.m., and ages 7–12 at noon. More than 8,000 eggs, including golden eggs with special prizes, will be hidden throughout the park’s 25-acre facility. Children will have an opportunity to have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny, participate in egg-themed games, and meet the Chick-Fil-A Cow and Gateway Guardians Superheroes. To register and for more information, call the St. Charles County Parks Department at 636-949-7535 or go online at http://bit.ly/EGGstravaganzaHunt2019.
As I mentioned, the County and community are working together to make this event possible. The Blue Line Real Estate Team and Johnson and Johnson Vision are sponsoring the event. Hayleigh’s Helping Hands (featured in this episode of myCounty), with support from Cornerstone United Methodist Church, is donating prize baskets for each child to take home. Chick-Fil-A is providing guest cards, Bahama Buck’s is contributing free treat vouchers for each child, Kohl’s 4 Kids and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon are giving away bike helmets, and the Recreation Council of Greater St. Louis is hosting a craft. The St. Charles County Ambulance District, University of Missouri—St. Louis students, Cornerstone United Methodist Church and Lutheran High School Roboteers are assisting with the hunts.
As a County Councilman, I am grateful to the St. Charles County Parks Department, the St. Charles County Police Department Bomb Squad, the late Sgt. Case, and all the community organizations that make this event possible. And I am thankful to you, our taxpayers, for supporting the Parks and Police departments through use and sales taxes.