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Getting ready for egg-citing time today

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Getting ready for egg-citing time today

Prestige resident Irene White was among those helping fill 10,000 plastic eggs with candy.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED March 30, 2013 2:30 a.m.

Miniature chocolates mixed with taffy collect in piles on table tops, waiting to be stuffed into eggs.

Together, they form Easter’s recipe, a colorful assortment of sugars and chews.

Young and old gathered around those tables on Friday morning, locked in conversation, stuffed together inside a dining hall and banquet room.

Together, they formed Easter’s elves, the shepherds and energy behind today’s Kiwanis Club Easter Egg Hunt. About 40 volunteers worked through the morning at Prestige Senior Living filling the eggs for today’s community celebration.

“We’re all driven to a common cause – making sure Easter is special for the boys and girls in town,” said George Montross, a Kiwanis member who orchestrated the egg-filling. “Everyone’s excited. This is probably the funnest event our club puts on. It’s the enjoyment the kids get out of it. Everyone loves seeing the little kids attack those eggs.”

That takes place today at Northgate Park, where 10,000 eggs will turn the grass fields into a pint-sized Battle Royale.

But before they’re hunted, bagged and eventually cracked open, the Easter eggs need to be prepped. They need to be stuffed, nurtured and loved on.

They need Velma Scarborough’s special touch. She is the picture of Easter perfection with her light blue eyes, pastel-colored blouse and rainbow beaded necklace.

A resident at Prestige since May 2011, Scarborough sat a table on Friday with 11 others, of which 10 she probably has sweaters older than.

She enthralls the group with her life’s many adventures, punctuating each turn in the story with her hands. Her body might be failing her, but her memory appears intact.

Scarborough, a seasoned egg-filler, can remember a few of the baby-faced volunteers sitting around her. She jokes that many of them are getting older, but then again, so is she.

“I think it’s great, coming down to talk with older people. They give us so much motivation and tell us about how life used to be,” said East Union junior Jose Luis Fausto, the student who sat closest to Scarborough. “It’s an opportunity for us to gain more knowledge.”

See, it’s not solely about the eggs. The eggs are the physical representation of the spirit of the holiday.

Today’s Easter celebration is about community and fellowship, and the framework for that began on Friday when three of unlikely demographics came together.

Volunteers from Prestige and East Union were also joined by nine Valley CAPS clients and their chaperone. Valley CAPS is a day program for adults with developmental disabilities.

“If it wasn’t for them,” Montross said of his Easter elves, “we would have been here all day.”

Fausto could have been elsewhere, to be for sure.

The options for a student of the Manteca Unified School District are endless during Spring Break. He could have slept in until lunch, or taken advantage of Friday’s flip-flop weather with a day trip to Santa Cruz, the river or The City.

Instead, he and the Kiwins Club arrived in force at Prestige Senior Living – 17 strong.

“This is a community event,” Fausto said as Montross appeared with three more large boxes of empty eggs.

“I could have been working, but I felt it would be much better for me to be here. We’re service members and this is what we should be doing.”

If Fausto sounds like a junior politician – passionate about his beliefs and unwavering in his convictions – it’s because he is. Fausto is the newly elected president of the East Union Kiwins Club.

He’s also been raised by helping hands.

“My family, when we were down and needed the help of the community, they were there for us,” he said. “Now that we’re fine and everything is OK, this is the least we could do.

“We used to have to get our food from the food bank, and now I’ve got my family helping out at the food bank.”

For hundreds if not thousands of kids, Easter will begin today with an egg hunt at Northgate.

But the egg-citement and energy were infused into the event on Friday morning, when chocolate and chews were packaged together by the young and old – Easter’s recipe carried out by its elves.

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