Candy hunt is on

Children jumping and swinging Easter egg baskets eagerly awaited the start of the Easter egg hunt Saturday at the Softball Complex.

Carmen Polk brought her nephew Josiah, who hoped to find Laffy-Taffy, bubble gum, and chocolates in the little plastic eggs.

Notorious for its short and furious duration, Carmen expected the egg hunt to last 10 minutes at most.

"I think it's gonna last 25 to 30 minutes," Josiah predicted.

Joshua Lucero: CMI correspondent photo

5-year-old Kayden Beaty makes a dash to find Easter eggs during the Cultural Affairs Committee's 4th annual Easter egg hunt Saturday afternoon at the Portales Softball Complex.

Anthony Necker, a National Honors Society student from Portales High School, volunteered to help hide eggs and set up for the event.

"It's good to get out and hang out with your friends and help out with Portales," said Necker.

"We have a community service project each semester," said Stormi Hancock, another honor society volunteer, " and this semester was the Easter egg hunt. We each had to bring a dozen eggs filled with candy and hide them for the little kids."

Amatacelli Soto hoped to get 1,000 eggs as she sat waiting with her sister, Mia, for the hunt to start.

"Instead of going for the easy ones, she's gonna go out there and get all of the ones in the outfield," said Mia of her sister's strategy for getting eggs.

Soon enough, the kids were separated into four different age groups, 1-3, 4-6 and 7-10 lined up next to the dugout of their respective softball field, waiting anxiously for Veda Urioste, the event organizer, to blow her whistle and start the Easter egg hunt.

Within minutes, four softball fields filled with Easter eggs had been emptied by running, excited, competitive kids. As was expected, the prized Easter eggs contained candy. To the surprise of the children, some of the eggs had small amounts of money, like quarters, in them.

11-year-old Emma Smith ended up with 41 eggs at the end of the hunt.

"It was fun just trying to find them," said Smith. "I liked getting all the candy."

According to officials, more than 200 kids participated in the Easter egg hunt.

"This is for our kids," said Urioste. "Let's just keep them involved and keep them happy. If the little ones are happy, the older ones are happy."

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