The 4-year-old Mon’tana Jones disobeyed mom’s orders during the annual Easter Egg Hunt on the state Capitol lawn.
Mom Crystal Nequist had advised the young girl to break free from the pack of eager children so she could scavenge for eggs beyond the trees. Mon’tana never got that far and still returned to her mother with a basket of Easter eggs stuffed with candy and toys.
“Look at you, baby!” said a proud Nequist to the daughter returning to her side.
Hundreds of adults and their children attended Saturday’s Easter egg hunt and several in the crowd said they were relieved to see the lawn used for such an apolitical cause.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Eric Sheppard of the Lansing Jaycees that sponsored the event. He’s a criminal defense attorney who has witnessed rallies at the Capitol when reporting to 54-A District Court for work. “It was enjoyable and in a way a little scary to be standing inside of that circle (of children.)”
There were three hunt areas for children three and under, 4- to 6-year-old youngsters and those who were older than 7 years of age.
The Lansing Jaycees have hosted annual Easter Egg Hunts since the 1950s. Organizers said Saturday that the event moved to the Capitol in the 1990s. The group’s original hunt happened at Bancroft Park on the city’s north side.
“This is one of our favorite events to do,” said Angela Fossi, president of the Lansing Jaycees.
And, Fossi added, there’s rarely any cleanup since the children usually clear the lawn of Easter eggs in approximately 30 seconds.
On Saturday, the day before Easter, 3-year-old Carter McKinney saw a young boy without any eggs. He kindly handed over one of his.
Lansing grandmother Judy McKinney and Lansing mom Rachelle McKinney said the recipient thanked Carter with a big smile. They were proud young Carter had expressed the kind, giving spirit of Easter.
After the mad dash for the Easter eggs, Maya Rummel of Royal Oak and Francesca Hogan of Meridian Township, both 5, sat on the steps of the Capitol. The sun was out and they were finding Silly Bandz bracelets and rings tucked inside their Easter eggs.
The skies were a gloomy gray when the Jaycees spread their gifts across the lawn that morning.
“I’m glad the weather held out for once,” said Melissa Hogan, Francesca’s mom.
The Lansing Jaycees is for 21- to 40-year-olds focused on developing leadership skills through community involvement. Find them on Facebook and Twitter. The group’s email address is www.lansingjaycees.org.