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Kids, seniors get a kick out of Easter egg hunt
Alexandria Irwin, right, holds a mirror so daughter Felicity, 3, can look at the angel Marge Stewart painted on her face Wednesday during an Easter egg hunt at Lanier Village Estates. The residents of Lanier Village Estates planned the activity for the children at Challenged Child and Friends. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The Lanier Village Estates on Wednesday got a head start on Easter by inviting the kids from Challenged Child and Friends over for an Easter egg hunt.

Renee Hilley, the education director for Challenged Child and Friends, said the residents coordinated with the school for more than a month to make sure the Easter egg hunt was appropriate for the special-needs children. The event also included stories, face painting and dogs.

Hilley said the egg hunt even included electronic “talking eggs” for students who are visually impaired.

“They just did a fabulous job,” Hilley said. “They were wonderful to accommodate any and every need our students have.”

Some of the Lanier Village Estates residents brought their dogs to the Easter egg hunt for the children to pet.

“The children are really enjoying it, and I think the dogs are enjoying it even more,” said Jeanne Baldwin, who was at the event with her dog, Sophie.

Hilley said therapy dogs are used at the school, and she was happy to see that animals were incorporated into the event.

She said dogs help kids learn about social interaction.

“It’s letting them love and be sweet and learn that kindness,” Hilley said.

Lanier Village Estates resident Beverly Boland said preparing for the Easter egg hunt was a collective effort.

“We involved almost the entire place,” Boland said. “Every floor contributed boiled eggs and dyed them.”

Alice Eckhardt, executive director of Lanier Village Estates, said the residents created and executed the event.

“The residents have these wonderful ideas,” she said. “This was something for all ages. The children are such a blessing.”

Hilley said though the event was planned for her students, she thinks the seniors benefitted from spending time with children.

“It does wonders for their well-being as well as the students too,” Hilley said.

Regional events