On a rainy night in early March, 12 people huddled around a conference table in the basement of a Main Street office building. The meeting would have been similar to any other monthly update of the Main Street Association if it weren’t for an update from Doug Truesdell, MSA board member and marketing director. Truesdell shared the news that the East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society had decided to forgo their annual egg hunt, a mainstay in the town for over a decade.
“I saw this as an opportunity for us to continue the tradition of this popular event,” said Truesdell. “The egg hunt is a great family event and it aligns perfectly with our mission to enhance living in East Greenwich and improve Main Street and the surrounding areas.”
The first step towards taking on the egg hunt was convincing fellow members that it was feasible to pull everything together in less than a month.
“We’re fortunate in that our group is small but our members are very dedicated,” said Truesdell. “When I proposed that we take on the egg hunt in such a short time, I knew we would need a few members to really step up and help.”
And that’s just what happened.
The MSA went to work planning the details of the event and were met with an abundance of support from the community.
“In addition to the planning skills of MSA board members Michelle Clark and Linda Sticca, the Town of East Greenwich came on board and offered Eldredge Field for the egg hunt,” said Stephen Nelson, president of the MSA. “Furthermore, the knowledge transfer from Gloria De Paola and the East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society helped us to understand what worked for them in creating such a great event.”
Other community vendors pitched in as well, including the Batista Amaral Dunkin’ Donuts group and Dave’s Market, providing refreshments for the event, the East Greenwich Senior Center, helping to fill more than 1,000 plastic eggs and East Greenwich Boy Scout Troop #2, assisting in setting up Eldredge Field for the hunt. Special prizes were donated, included Hasbro toys from Gary Aigner, tennis lessons from Matt Marion and piano and voice lessons from Alex Godiksen.
On Saturday, nearly 200 people—the majority of them children ranging from babies to tweens—turned out for the event, colorful baskets in hand, ready to grab the eggs. After a brief welcome, Nelson sounded an alarm and almost as quickly as you can say “egg hunt,” the event was over and children were popping open the eggs to see what they had won.
“For our first year hosting the event, I’d say it was a success” said Nelson, although he acknowledged they need to do a better job making sure every child goes home with some eggs. “We’re eager to hear feedback from residents and are looking forward to an even better event in 2016.”
For more information on the MSA and any upcoming events, check out www.mainstreeteg.org.