By Ciara Dennehy and Joseph Konig
Sunrise Little League and Connetquot Youth Football Association (CYFO) banned together in hosting the community’s first annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 31, 2018.
Both leagues are seeking to increase sports registration and, since they share the same complex an annual Easter egg hunt was a good way to achieve that goal. The event also served as a community service opportunity for 7th graders who will be making their Confirmation next May. Religion classes from the community’s church, St. John Nepomucene, were invited to participate in hiding the 2,500 eggs for the children to find on Holy Saturday.
Many of the kids have spent their elementary years on these fields, so it is a cause that hits close to home.
Corey Dale, a 7th grader who is part of Ms. Youman’s religion class, was among the volunteers on Saturday. He has been part of the little league program since kindergarten and although he was receiving community service for it, he said that, “I volunteered because I spent most of my childhood on these fields.”
Volunteers arrived at 8 a.m. to hide the eggs around the football and baseball fields at the Sunrise Little League complex. Two hours later, over 100 young children under the age of 10 showed up with their families. Each one of the 2,500 eggs was filled with candy, but three lucky eggs contained a free registration to the next season of football, baseball and cheerleading. Registration for these organizations cost between $85-$165 (depending on how early/late you register)
“We made it public that kids could get community service out of it and we had a great turnout,” Shaun Marshall, president of Sunrise Little League, said. “A lot more showed up today than expected, so we are going to make that [community service] available more often throughout the season.”
The leagues advertised the event with posts online, as well as by sending out fliers and emails to every school in the Connetquot school district, Marshall explained.
“Our goal is to bring in young kids in the community who aren’t part of the two organizations involved, those are our targets,” Marshall said. “We want them to get involved whether it be in baseball, softball, tee-ball, cheerleading or football. There’s a lot of people in the school district that may not know about us so we want to draw them in as well as entertain the ones that are already part of our program.”
Members of the community support the annual event and think it’s a good way to increase community participation.
“I’m on the CYFO board and my husband is on the Sunrise Little League board, so we are fully invested,” Sarah Lorenz said. “The board came up with the idea of the egg hunt to get the entire community together and also recruit kids to publicize the leagues. They’re also asking for volunteers which is great too because you have kids who have to do community service for their religion education classes, so those kids are coming down too, to give back to the community while fulfilling their requirements. It’s a win-win.”
The event may increase registration, and Marshall said he was pleased with the turnout.
“This is our first annual Easter egg hunt with sunrise little league and CYFO together, and I plan on doing it every year from this point forward,” Marshall said.