By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
CLINTON — From January to the end of March, Leanna Geffers spends every night and weekend stuffing Easter eggs and building baskets for the annual Easter egg hunt in Clinton.
“I would hate to think what I’ve stuffed in 10 years,” Leanna, 63, of Clinton, said.
Ten years ago, the Riverboat Days Board came up with the idea of having an Easter egg hunt for the community. Leanna, a board member at the time, thought it sounded like fun and offered to organize the event.
She is still in charge of the hunt.
“This is something I feel like I started in the community and I would have a hard time letting go of this,” Leanna said. “I probably won’t give up doing this event till I can’t do it any more.”
This year, Leanna stuffed a total of 20,000 eggs with the help of Mary Jones, including 300 numbered eggs. A child finding a numbered egg received a larger prize, such as a basket, a large chocolate bunny or even a bicycle.
Leanna goes to area businesses in January to collect funds and prizes for the 160 Easter baskets she puts together. Her house is consumed with all of the various supplies. Leanna stuffs her baskets with egg-dying kits, certificates for free pizza or free ice cream, and plenty of other items.
“These kids, when they get one of my baskets, it is loaded,” Leanna said.
She takes pride in her baskets, decorating each one with ribbons.
Leanna’s family is supportive of her involvement in the hunt. Her husband of 28 years, Delbert, will sometimes help her stuff eggs. Her two granddaughters from Fulton, Ill., also will help her prepare the eggs and baskets.
This year’s Easter egg hunt was held last weekend at Riverview Park. Leanna said this year’s turnout was fabulous. She loves seeing children looking for the eggs. This year, one of the children who won a bicycle had never had one before. She said moments like that is why she continues to organize the event.