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The hunt begins at Pope

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Brightly colored eggs, laughter and candy were scattered throughout Pope's Woodland Park recently, as Airmen, Soldiers and their families searched for treasures, played games and participated in family fun.

Team Pope and members of Fort Bragg attended the Annual Pope Easter Egg Hunt co-hosted by the Pope Library and the 43rd Security Forces Squadron April 2.

Families gathered to spend quality time together, celebrate the Year of the Air Force Family and take advantage of the beautiful day, said Capt. Christopher Spring, 43rd Force Support Squadron.

"It's fun and I like the candy," said Gavin, 3, son of Captain Spring.
Along with Gavin, Captain Spring attended the event with his wife, Becky and daughter Katie, 7.

Children anxiously positioned themselves at the starting line and waited for the signal allowing them to run and hunt down their eggs. The second it sounded, more than 100 children rushed the field to see what fortune their egg held.

"It was exhilarating to see all the children scurrying on the field," said Cadet Sean Parker from Fayetteville State University. "It's fun to watch them enjoy themselves."

All children through the age of 10 were invited to come and participate in the hunt, said Tech. Sgt. Helen Wharry, 3rd Aerial Port Squadron. "We divided the eggs into age groups and hid them around the park based on level of difficulty," she added.

Each egg held a number one through four, which categorized a prize the children could collect, the sergeant added. Prizes included chocolate bunnies, temporary tattoos and candy. Along with a hunt, the day included an egg decorating stand, spoon races, egg tosses and cameos by the Easter Bunny and Sparky the Fire Dog.

The crowd was larger than in previous years, and more than 200 people showed up to the event.

"The turn-out was awesome," said Tech Sgt. Stacey Polu, 43rd Security Forces Squadron. "Everybody showed up, participation was higher than we'd expected and we got lucky that it's such a beautiful day."

Sergeant Polu assisted in coordinating the event, and was also the officiator for the egg races.

More than 25 volunteers coordinated to put the event into action. The team, which consisted of members from the Pope Library, 43rd SFS, 43rd Civil Engineer Squadron and 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, pooled together to coordinate the base-wide family event.

An Airman from the 43rd LRS donned the Easter Bunny costume for the day in recognition of the long standing custom.

"I knew the children would like it," said Airman 1st Class Matthew Turner, 43rd LRS. "I thought I could do something productive and keep a tradition alive."

In an effort to integrate members from Pope with Fort Bragg, the day was open to Airmen as well as Soldiers, and more than 10 families at the event were from the Army base.

"It was good having both services here," said Senior Airman Acazvia Henley, 43rd SFS. "There was no, 'I'm Air Force,' and 'I'm Army.' Everyone played well together; it truly is one team, one fight."

The teamwork and participation for the event was appreciated by volunteers and families, and goes to show the tremendous relationship of all Team Pope.

"Children always bring people together," said Ms. Harriott. "They help adults remember what's important."