SHAMOKIN — Claude Kehler Memorial Park was the setting for two special events for children and dogs, Saturday afternoon. Both events went off without a hitch and the weather cooperated with temperatures in the 70’s.

Children’s Easter egg hunt

The city hosted its second annual Children’s Easter Egg Hunt starting at noon. Around 200 children attended the event, slightly down from last year according to organizers.

Along with the Easter bunny, a large crowd had already gathered about 30 minutes prior to the start of the event. The children, accompanied by their parents and guardians, were excited as they waited with baskets and bags in hand for collecting the eggs. The hunt was divided up into two age groups, ages 3 and under, and ages 4 through 8. A separate area was also designated for handicap children.

Maria Polaskie held the hand of her three-year-old granddaughter Jaelyn Jane who was dressed in pink holding a matching pink bag.

Elsewhere, another three-year-old, Gavin Wondoloski, stood quietly by waiting his turn.

Mike Duganitz, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the egg hunt, addressed the crowd shortly before noon and turned the microphone over to Denise Brown for a few brief comments.

“Welcome everyone to our second annual Easter Egg Hunt. We have 7,800 eggs out there for you this year, plenty enough for everyone,” said Brown. “I want to thank the Shamokin Moose, West End Fire Company, who donated food (hot dogs) and drinks for the children, and Dave and Wanda Chapman for donating bikes for the winners of the drawing.”

Before beginning the countdown, Duganitz then gave some last minute instructions to the children, telling them, “If you find an egg with a golden ticket in it, bring it over here to the table to claim your prize.”

The golden ticket prizes included 18 Easter baskets with candy and 3 stuffed bunny rabbits.

Duganitz began the countdown, “Is everyone ready? Three, two, one... Go.”

With that, the children began frantically collecting as many eggs as they could hold.

When it was all said and done, the golden ticket winners were allowed to claim their prizes before four separate drawings were held from among those who pre-registered to win a bicycle. There were two drawings each for the boys and girls.

The four bicycle winners were: Christopher Bennett (6); Owen McGarva (7); Emily Brokenshire (8); and Alana Hendricks (8).

Councilman Dan McGaw, who also hosted a dog biscuit hunt a short time afterward, said that he was pleased with the event.

“It’s a beautiful day today and the children had a good time. This year we added a handicap area which worked out really well. I think it was a fun time for everyone.”

Dog biscuit hunt

At 2 p.m., the venue remained the same as the city hosted its first ever dog biscuit hunt. About 10 dogs, accompanied on leash by their owners, participated in the event. The purpose of the dog hunt was for the dogs and their owners to collect as many biscuits as they could find. Each owner was provided with a bag to help in the collection process.

At the conclusion of the event, prizes were awarded to the smallest, largest and cutest dogs. Smallest dog was awarded to “Nico Luigo,” a Yorkshire Terrier owned by Tara Shervinski, of Coal Township; largest dog went to “Brodie,” a white Great Pyrenees owned by Tammy Hine, of Coal Township; while cutest dog went to “Foreigner,” a Basset Hound owned by Ed and Rose Bowers, of Shamokin.

McGaw thanked everyone who participated in the dog biscuit hunt and handed out a number of additional canine prizes, such as boxes of dog biscuits and toys to everyone.

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