CASSTOWN — Miami East-Miami Valley CTC FFA member Carter Gilbert had planned to host a community Easter Egg Hunt this spring, but with the state’s “Stay at Home” order in place, he quickly adapted his plan and made “Easter Egg Hunt To-go” packages for local families to enjoy.
As part of his passion project, the 17 year-old junior filled 333 dozen eggs — nearly 4,000 individual eggs — with candy and prizes for children with help from local sponsors. The Easter Egg Hunt was originally supposed to be held at the Miami East High School football field prior to the coronavirus canceling school through May 1.
With help from his FFA chapter adviser Marie Carity, Gilbert posted a sign-up form on the FFA chapter’s social media for families to reserve a dozen eggs per child and arrange for pick-up at the high school last Wednesday. The to-go egg hunt kits were nearly all spoken for in less than 24 hours.
“It made me extremely happy to know kids will still enjoy this project even though this isn’t how I thought it would go,” Gilbert said. Gilbert said he always had fond memories of Easter Egg hunts with his church and family and thought hosting one for the Miami East district would be a new way to get the community together.
“It brightened up my day to see everyone picking up their eggs,” he said. “We’ll do it bigger and better next year.”
Gilbert also acquired an Easter bunny costume for the event using his own money. The Easter bunny waved to children as families drove through the parking lot to pick up their eggs.
Gilbert said adapting to the restrictions put in place due to the state mandated social distancing and crowd limits taught him a valuable life lesson.
“It definitely taught me how to prepare for the worst and how to overcome challenges,” he said. “We started planning this in January, and as the date approached, we kept thinking of ways to push it back and then finally decided on the to-go bags. I’m glad it worked out for everyone.”
Gilbert said he was grateful for the sponsors of the event who helped fill the eggs and treats for children to enjoy at home during the holiday. The following sponsors supported the project: 36 Skate Club, Alvetro Orthodontics, Baird Funeral Home, Buckeye Ford, Buffalo Wings and Rings, Chick-Fil-A, Culver’s of Troy, Dunham’s of Piqua, Erwin Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Family Farm and Home, Family Video of Troy,Eddie Miller with Galbreath Realtors, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop, Hometown Urgent Care, King’s Island, Lee’s Family Chicken, Meijer of Troy, Rural King of Huber Heights, Scene 75, St. Paris Public Library and Wal-Mart of Piqua.
Gilbert is the son of Michelle West and Adam Gilbert. He resides in Conover.