Geoff Davenport calls himself “the best Easter egg hunter in the world” and readily admits to a fondness for hard-boiled eggs.
During Homeland Center’s Easter egg hunt, however, he was content to watch young children skitter around the room searching for plastic eggs filled to stuffing with candy. He was ready to offer advice, though.
“Look everywhere, just keep looking,” he said.
Lorraine Englander said she came down from her room “just to watch the little ones” although she told Davenport, “I might get one for you.” Englander lives in the skilled care unit but came to spend time with her husband, Don, in the personal care section.
“I like to watch the children, they're cute,” she said. “A lot are children of employees, and I like to see their families.”
Ashley Bryan, Homeland's director of skilled and personal care activities, said staff and volunteers had stuffed candy into about 600 plastic eggs to prepare and hid them in all four units. Later that day, residents could participate in “Bunny Bingo” for the chance to win stuffed rabbits donated by Homeland volunteer Susan Anthony.
“It's a nice treat for residents to do with their families,” Bryan said.
Among the young searchers were Spencer and Olivia Schell, who were visiting their great-grandmother, Fern Sucec.
“It was a big surprise; I didn't know they were coming,” Sucec said as the children pried open their eggs around her feet. “It was a good, big surprise. I love living here because they take good care of you.”
Doris Coyne, who has been a resident for three and a half years, said it was “the best Easter egg hunt I've ever seen.”
Daniel Moore, 3, came with his one-year-old brother Nathaniel and his grandmother, Bernadette Crosson. Crosson has been a caregiver for a Homeland resident for the past seven years. She includes the resident in many of her family's activities, and brings her grandchildren to special events at Homeland, including Easter egg hunts and Halloween trick-or-treat days. “The kids have a ball,” she said.
David and Debra Bias came to Homeland to visit a friend and former neighbor who lives on the second floor and brought their children Austin, 2 and Lydianna, 4.
“The kids ran from room to room shouting 'Mom, there's more! Mom, there's more!'” Debra Bias said. “They had them in the dining room, the social room, everywhere. And the residents throughout could see the kids.”