The Easter Bunny was really hopping Saturday.
It was that cold.
Mr. Bunny, a.k.a. David Walton, had added his own vest, tie and hat to the bunny suit provided by Providence Emilie Court Assisted Living. But from the waist down he had only gym shorts underneath, not much insulation against the gusty winds and pelting popcorn snow squalls that swept the Inland Northwest.
Walton was the go-to source for kids who did not snag one of about 800 eggs stashed at Emilie Court and St. Joseph Care Center for family members of residents and employees. When he wasn’t bobbing up and down to maintain circulation, Walton was dispensing candy- and prize-filled eggs to disappointed egg hunters.
Ann Beyer, one of the event organizers, said the number of kids who showed up was about twice the number signed up. The result was a limit of six eggs per child, which did not appear to foment any resentment.
Mr. Bunny was there for backup, and many family members divvied up their take to assure all went home happy.
In the case of the Anderson family, there was a little bit of business done.
Sheri Anderson said she paid 6-year-old daughter Brianna Gallup $5 for one of the stuffed bunnies won by some lucky hunters. The bunny was passed to Kaleigha, 2, who was just big enough to look the glossy rabbit in the eye.
No trades necessary for Avery Foster, who brought along daughters Xavierra, 7, Zakyla,7, and Naomi, 11, and niece Tamia, 7, all of whom scored eggs, as well as a puzzle, paint-by-numbers kit and big, goodie-filled basket awarded as a door prize.
For the Houghton family, it was a chance to spend some time with grandma Veronica Hebert, a St. Joseph’s resident.
“We had to bring up grandma’s goodies,” said son Roy.
He, wife Michelle, and daughters Stephanie and Samantha watched while the baby of the family, 2-year-old Makenna, search a day room with other children age three or younger.
“Look at that,” said a happy Makenna, who waved a stick topped by a chick in tulip.
Hebert said she had looked forward to the hunt, and the visit.
“We miss grandma a lot,” Roy said as the din eased and the hunt moved across 8th Avenue to Emilie Court, where a hunt for older children dissolved in cheers and camera flashes.
Students from Gonzaga Prep hid eggs for the combined egg hunt.