By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2011
A child gathers Easter eggs at last year’s Easter Egg Hunt.
Since ancient times, the egg has been a symbol of new life. Many stories have circulated over the centuries as to the origin of the Easter egg and its relation to the Easter holiday. One of the theories is that eggs became a large part of the Easter celebration because Easter marked the end of the Christian religious observance of Lent, during which eggs were restricted from the diet. But no matter why eggs came to be part of our culture’s annual spring celebration, it is certain that brightly colored eggs lying in fresh spring grass is a happy and exciting sight for any child.
It is not surprising that the Optimist Club of Claremore would live up to its name by hosting a yearly Easter Egg Hunt in honor of this most joyous occasion. “The Great Claremore Easter Egg Hunt” began in the early 1970s, and will be held again this year at The Round Up Club on East Blue Starr Drive by Claremore Lake on Saturday, April 23 at 11 a.m. This event is free to the public.
“This will be our 35th annual Easter Egg Hunt,” says Gene Smith of the Optimist Club of Claremore. “We will have over 10,000 candy and prize-filled eggs for ages 10 and under.” According to Smith, the hunt will be broken down into sections for three different age groups (0-2 years, 3-6 years, and 7-10 years) in order to ensure fairness and fun for all. “A few thousand kids make all those eggs disappear in record time!” says Smith.
The Great Claremore Easter Egg Hunt is just one of the community service projects sponsored each year by the Optimist Club of Claremore. The club is made up of local men and women who donate time and effort to helping young people in Claremore succeed in their endeavors, and develop leadership and sportsmanship.
One of the Optimist Club’s largest projects is youth basketball, which began in 1985 and has grown steadily ever since to include hundreds of boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 10. The club coordinates the Rogers County Special Olympics, handling advertising, planning, scheduling and fundraising for the event. Each year, the club also awards one $500 and two $250 scholarships to Claremore area high school seniors. The Optimist Club of Claremore’s annual Scholarship Program is based on academic excellence, financial need, and community service of the applicant. The club is also instrumental in placing flags up and down Main Street and all over Claremore in observance of national holidays.
These are just some of the ways the Optimist Club of Claremore strives to bring positive attitudes and actions to the Rogers County area. If you are interested in making a difference by participating in this organization, contact Gene Smith at (918) 381-4211. The club meets weekly at Eggbert’s in Claremore Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. And be sure to bring your little ones with big Easter baskets to the Round Up Club on April 23!