When nearby New Heights Church began its now annual Easter Egg Hunt and raffle, church members never knew it would grow to the point where they would have local children hunt for more than 10,000 eggs.

This year, the church will host the event at Ahwatukee’s Sun Ray Park, beginning at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 12. The event is free based off of donations from members of the church and registration is not required to attend. Those who want to attend should simply show up and participate in the fun-filled event.

“We will have people check in and they will be given a bag that they can put their eggs in,” said Amanda Williams, lead team leader of New Heights Church of Chandler. “Children will be split into four quadrants of age groups and we’ll have a square of the park marked off for them to participate in the egg hunt.”

Children will be given a card with a color that corresponds to their age. Then, each age group will be able to participate in the egg hunt at a separate time. The age groups include: 2 to 3 year olds, 4 to 5 year olds, first- through third-graders, and fourth- through sixth-graders.

“This will make it easier if a parent has a couple of kids that are in different age groups,” Williams said. “They won’t have to pick which one they are going to, they can just go to one and then go to the other.”

The church is also offering a raffle along with the egg hunt this year. Tickets for the raffle will be given out at the check-in table and each age group will have the opportunity to win a prize from the church, Williams said.

“The prizes are all donations, but the eggs are purchased by the church, and church members bring in candy to fill the eggs,” Williams said.

Last year, the church provided 6,000 eggs for the event and they plan to increase that number in the coming years.

“At first we had 4,000, last year we had 6,000, and this year we will have 10,000 eggs,” Williams said.

Three-hundred people, including families, children and church members, showed up to the event last year and church members are hoping to have around 500 attendees this year.

“In the past we’ve probably had 50-plus volunteers and the church typically comes out in big numbers for this event,” Williams said.

Attendees will be able to park at Sun Ray Park, 4059 E. Ray Road, and at Sunrise Preschool, 4111 E. Ray Road, for the event.

The church has been hosting this event to get to know the community better and to better serve them, Williams said.

“Sometimes families do not do a traditional egg hunt, so we wanted to throw this event to get to know the community and to let them know that we are here for them.”

• Angela Crusco is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is interning this semester for the AFN.

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