Colorful plastic eggs speckled the lawn of Duke East Campus Saturday, shining in morning sun.
Children of Duke employees and neighbors close to campus waited for the signal, clutching pastel baskets and plastic bags at the starting line. A declaration from a megaphone sent everyone running on the lawn, and within minutes, more than 2,000 eggs were claimed.
Dozens of families attended the Duke East Campus Egg Hunt on Saturday, which was organized by the Trinity Park Neighborhood Association and sponsored by the Duke Office of Durham & Regional Affairs. The annual, nondenominational event celebrates the partnership between Duke and its neighbors.
Leah Fulkerson, who lives in the West End neighborhood near West Chapel Hill Street in Durham, brought her two children, 5-year-old Caleb and 3-year-old Chloe, who used a Halloween trick-or-treat bucket that morning to hold her eggs.
“It’s close to our home and we can walk here,” Fulkerson said. “It’s just a really nice egg hunt. (I like) watching the kids pick up the eggs and how excited they are to sit down and open them.”
Christina Jones and her grandson, 4-year-old Christian Penfield, attended the Duke East Campus Egg Hunt two years ago, and Christian wanted to go again this year.
When asked about his favorite part of the Egg Hunt, Christian said he liked “opening the eggs and seeing what’s inside.”
The eggs on Saturday were filled with candy and small toys. Children who found golden tickets in their eggs were able to swap them for larger prizes such as Frisbees and Play-Doh. Duke University Stores donated many of the golden ticket prizes.
Families at the Egg Hunt were also able to buy raffle tickets for $1 apiece to potentially win Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies, and the proceeds benefitted Duke Children’s Hospital.
Duke students in Alpha Phi sorority held carnival games that morning, to include a ring toss and a matching game with rubber ducks. Children picked up the yellow rubber ducks in a plastic, blow-up pool, looking at the numbers underneath.
Duke public policy freshman and Alpha Phi member Corinne Mayle said she enjoyed being around families and children during the Easter holiday as well as volunteering at a community event.
“I’ve been missing some of those family traditions,” Mayle said. “Getting to actually connect with the community a little bit is really important if you’re a Duke student, especially if you’re going to be here for the next four years.”