Pilot story and photos

by Andrea Barkan

An astounding 10,000 eggs blanketed Azalea Park Saturday morning - pastel pink perched in trees, light lavender laid on grass, bright blue buried in bushes - during the 2005 Elks Easter Egg Hunt.

Around 450 children descended on the park promptly at 9 a.m. By 9:15, every egg was plucked from its hiding spot.

Members of Brookings Elks 1934 and Emblem Club 265 boiled the eggs 36 dozen at a time, egg hunt coordinator Bob Gardner said.

It took them just three days to prepare 10,000 eggs.

andquot;There were so many people involved,andquot; Gardner said.

They also gave out 300 stuffed toys and $1,000 worth of $50 savings bonds.

The first 250 children at the hunt received Easter baskets stuffed with eggs and toys.

Eggs and treats are donated by local businesses and community members.

Gardner was most pleased the worst weather predictions didn't come true until long after the last egg hunter left the park.

Everyone said rain was imminent, but the looming storm stayed at bay until mid-morning.

andquot;The weather cooperated,andquot; Gardner said.

He noted that last year people predicted the hunt would get rained out, too. By 9 a.m., the sky was sunny and temperatures hovered in the 70s.

andquot;I think the Elks have an inside track,andquot; Gardner said with a chuckle.