South School second graders Megan Corbett and Madison Couturier participate in the annual Jump for Heart fundraiser. Photo by Chris Paul
While this past winter may not have been the longest on record, it would be hard to convince us of that. It was the icing on the cake when the official start of spring arrived at 6:45 p.m. last Friday, followed quickly by a snow shower. And another one the next morning.
This year, except for the change in the sunlight, you could fool us that spring is here. Friends from other parts of the country send Facebook photos of flowering shrubs and remind us of how long our winter lasts. There may be sun and 50-degree temperatures in the forecast, but it’s hard to keep the bright promise of springtime at the forefront in the midst of the non-stop sound of the furnace.
But if nothing else works, congratulate yourself on having just about gotten through an old fashioned, northern New England winter. Now, when old-timers talk about the winters of long ago, you can offer your own experiences and snowfall depths. And if nothing else makes you feel better, at least we aren’t dealing with the 25 feet of ice off the coast of Nova Scotia.
So we rejoice over finally being able to see the bare patches of brown leaves left over at the edge of the lawn from last fall, we look forward to having soggy mud replace the treacherous ice patches in the driveway, and we smile when the temperature rises above freezing. We may even haul out a lawn chair and sit outside, however briefly, as that March sun shines down, even though we’re still bundled up in gloves and sweaters.
And we never fail to look toward the future. We know mud season is coming when the basement starts to flood. And when the mud and water finally fade away, we’re visited by black flies.
But as stalwart New Englanders, we’ll get through all that and get down to the business of waiting for the weather to warm up so we can enjoy the summer, however brief. There will be a summer this year, won’t there?
Those of us who stick it out during the ever-extending winter know that blue skies and warm weather are just around the corner, and summer isn’t far behind. Right? But can we please have a little bit of spring first?
Londonderry High School’s Class of 2016 invites the community to attend the third annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4.
Featuring a visit with the Easter Bunny, crafts, games, and, of course, an Easter Egg Hunt, the fundraiser has quickly become a crowd-pleaser families look forward to as spring approaches.
“The kids really wanted to do an event that gave back to the community in some way and they thought it was an event they hadn’t seen around town yet – something new and fresh,” said Ashley Tebbetts, Class of 2016 advisor.
The first year they hosted the event, the egg hunt was held in the high school’s cafeteria and 200 children attended.
“It was mayhem that first year,” Tebbetts said with a laugh. “We moved into the gym last year, where there’s a lot more space, and the egg hunt is held outside, rain or shine, snow or grass. Last year there were over 6,000 eggs, and we added a little bunny patch so the smaller kids have a chance to find the eggs. We got a lot of great feedback last year from parents thanking us for transitioning into the gym and having the hunt outside rather than indoors.”
The Easter Egg Hunt is free to all members of the public, but donations are accepted and guests may take a photo with the Easter Bunny for $3.
All the money raised through the events has traditionally gone directly toward funding primarily senior year activities, such as the senior trip, graduation, and the Baccalaureate, according to Max Hastings, president of the Class of 2016.
But this year, the students decided to use a portion of the funds to establish a scholarship in honor of their friend Craig Fairweather, who was killed in a car crash late last year.
“After we graduate, our advisors (Tebbetts and Holly Lafore) are going to try to continue to host the event, and all the money will go towards the scholarship,” he said.
Tebbetts said the students work hard to organize and execute the event, creating a backdrop for a photo station where guests can take a photo with the bunny (bring your own photo device); planning decorations, crafts, games, and prizes; and stuffing and hiding all the eggs.
“We have a big bake sale and hang decorations. Getting it festive takes a lot of effort from class representatives,” Hastings said. “The main thing is getting all the candy in each egg. Last year there were about 1,000 eggs, and this year we’re looking at more.”
“The kids donate all the supplies, everything, to make this happen for the kids in the community,” Tebbetts said. “You can see the joy in them working with the little kids, teaching them the games. We really see our kids shining in their interactions with these little kids. We have genuine, amazing kids. There are a little under 70 representatives in the class, and they are all very involved. They want to be there, and it’s nice for the parents to see these are high school kids who stay all day Saturday and love it.”
“As high school students, we don’t get to be around little kids as much. It’s a nice change. It’s fun to see their faces light up when they see the bunny,” Hastings said. “It benefits the community because when it’s put on by students for the kids, it’s more personal, and it gives the little kids a chance to be around the high schoolers and go in the gym. I think it’s a great thing for everyone, and the parents seem to enjoy it as much as the kids.”
The Easter Egg Hunt event is to be held at the high school gymnasium from 9 a.m. to noon, with the Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 12 and under to begin at 11:30 a.m.
Admission and all activities are free. Donations are welcomed and guests may take as many photos as they like with their own camera with the Easter Bunny in front of a festive backdrop for $3.