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Mooseheart Executive Director Scott Hart emceed the second annual Mooseheart Easter Egg Hunt Saturday morning, April 7. He had to wait to give the "go" signal several minutes after the scheduled start time of 11 a.m. to allow for lines of cars totaling roughly a mile to enter the campus. Nearly 3,000 children and their parents flocked to the event, almost six times the 2011 turnout!
This mother and daughter readied themselves for Hart's countdown and "go" signal to begin the egg collection.
Mooseheart's FieldTurf surface, festooned with roughly 10,000 brightly colored plastic eggs -- each with a treat within -- had nearly 3,000 children and their parents roughly three-deep and shoulder-to-shoulder on all four sides as Hart gave the "go" signal
As expected, in roughly ten minutes, it was all over, with all those eggs scooped up into kids' Easter baskets.
In the Fieldhouse behind the football field, after the Easter eggs had all been scooped up, parents waiting in line to have their kids sit on the Easter Bunny's lap had a chance to learn more about the mission and workings of Mooseheart Child City & School.
Andrew and Kendra Helfer of North Aurora and their daughter Lily relaxed on the Mooseheart Fieldhouse floor as Lily sorted through her Easter eggs. The event was sponsored for the second straight year by Mooseheart Lodge No. 2655 of the Loyal Order of Moose.
MOOSEHEART, April 10 - Mathematically-speaking, one thing rabbits certainly know how to do is multiply -- and perhaps the magical multiplication powers of the Easter Bunny are what helped attract nearly 3,000 children and their parents to Mooseheart for its second annual public Easter Egg Hunt.
The event, which took place April 7, also benefited from warm, sunny weather and word-of-mouth of the success of the 2011 event. It was the latest in a series of events to members from local communities to the Child City campus.
Shortly after 11 a.m., Mooseheart Executive Director Scott Hart completed the countdown and set the massive throng on its egg-collecting way, in search of 10,000 plastic eggs arrayed on the campus' artificially-surfaced football field.
A year ago, the inaugural egg hunt attracted 500 on a dark, wet and chilly Saturday. But other than the massive increase in attendance, the events surrounding the event remained the same. After the hunt, all participants and their families were welcomed into Mooseheart's Fieldhouse, where a free hot dog lunch was served. The Easter Bunny posed for photos and there were crafts and games to be enjoyed.
Since its founding, Mooseheart has operated a complete, accredited kindergarten-through-high-school academic program, plus art, music, vocational training and interscholastic sports. It is an extremely nurturing and student-tailored program, with an average student-teacher ratio of 12-1.
Mooseheart students who complete their studies with a 3.0 GPA or better (4.0=A) are eligible for up to five years of annually renewable scholarship funding, covering tuition, room and board in an amount comparable to that required for an in-state student at an Illinois public university.
Mooseheart is currently home to roughly 230 students, ranging in age from preschoolers to high school seniors. Applications for admission to Mooseheart are considered from any family whose children are, for whatever reason, lacking a stable home environment. Mooseheart boasts its own U.S. Post Office and a fully functioning branch of Fifth Third Bank.
In addition to Mooseheart, Moose International also supports Moosehaven, a 70-acre retirement community near Jacksonville, FL founded in 1922; and conducts more than $70 million worth of community service programs annually.