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Thrill of the hunt: Kids collect Easter treats

A full morning of Easter egg hunting complete, the Iwanski family cracked open plastic eggs, revealing the treats inside. With four children, ages 2 to nearly 8, the Iwanskis took part in several of the age divisions at Lions Park in Elburn.

The annual event, run by the Elburn Lions Club, attracts hundreds to the park for the hunts and a breakfast. Amy Iwanski said it's a tradition for her family.

"We come every year," she said, adding that the family used to go to a larger egg hunt but found the smaller hunt at Elburn to be a better experience. She was there with her husband, Chris, and Morgan (soon to be 8), Mallory (6), Carson (4) and Maryn (2). "Why not support our community."

Though conditions were chilly, Chris Iwanski said he'll take that. He said he's been at egg hunts that have been rainy, in snow and in freezing conditions. The kids, he said, did just fine.

"Oh, yeah, plenty," he said when asked whether enough eggs were connected.

It was a big day for egg hunts, with one staged in just about every town. In them, youths collect plastic eggs, which are filled with candy treats. In some, there were hunts specifically for dogs, with eggs filled with dog-friendly treats. One such event was sponsored by the Sugar Grove Park District.

Tom and Michelle Scales brought their sons, Jack (10) and Bryan (6), as well as their dog, Jet, a black lab they just adopted last year.

"It was his first hunt," Michelle Scales said. "We didn't know what to expect."

Tom Scales walked Jet through the hunt. He said he knew he would take Jet to the event when they adopted him, as the hunt is one of the family's highlights.

"We try to do as much as we can with the park district," he said. "They go out of their way to open it up for everyone, the kids, the dogs."

Suzanne Serrurier, the park district's financial manager and registrar, presided over the dog event. She said she heard of a similar one five years ago and decided it would be a good fit in Sugar Grove. Saturday's event was the fourth to include dogs. She said there were more than 40 dogs.

"The first year, we had maybe five dogs, so it's grown," she said. "So many people consider their pets as part of the family. We do want programs that include pets."

She said the dog hunt is funded by private donations. The kids hunt is sponsored by American Heartland Bank and Trust.

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