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Egg hunt brings community together after storm

April 1, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Crowds may have been a bit thinner this year at Shelburne’s Easter Egg Hunt following last week’s ice storm, but the community came to the event eager to have a good time after days of struggling to get back to normal.

According to Mayor Ken Bennington, event organizers made the decision to postpone the event, originally slated for last Saturday, to Easter Sunday.

Volunteers, he said, had already put so much work into the event that it was a shame to “throw it all away.”

“So, let’s just do it,” said Mayor Bennington of the can-do spirit that went into the decision to delay. “There are a lot of people in Town without power, without hydro, and without anything to do. We’ll give them something to do.”

And so they did. Scores of kids and their parents took time out of their busy Easter Sunday and descended on the Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex for a later morning and afternoon of indoor crafts, outdoor games and, just after 1 p.m., the all-important egg hunt.

“This event got even better [on the Sunday] because the balloon guy wasn’t scheduled to be here, but since we put it a day later, we got a new face painter who brought the balloon guy with him,” said Mayor Bennington. “We’re doing what we can do.”

With several streets and pockets still without power at that point, however, there was only so much they could do; but the turnout and the conversations to be had at the event showed a remarkable spirit emerging in the community.

“I have had some conversations here this morning where a gentleman now has his power restored and has offered me his generator [saying] ‘if you know anyone who needs a generator, let me know and I will deliver it to them,’” the Mayor recalled. “It’s those kind of things – that is Shelburne. That is going above and beyond. I am real happy with what is going on.

“It is an Easter to remember, for sure. I posted a fun post on our Facebook page that today was going to be renamed ‘Hug Your Shelburne Works Department Worker Day’ because I really feel that hydro line workers, Shelburne Public Works, and those kinds of guys constantly take it on the chin out in public. On a weekend like this, they really pulled together and I am really proud of those guys because this was supposed to be a long weekend for everyone and they haven’t had a shift off. They just plowed through.

“It makes you appreciate your staff and reinforces when you go through a hiring process and you’re whittling it out, it reassures me we have hires the right people for those positions because I can’t say enough about how proud I am for them buckling down and doing two shifts. They popped up here to see if there was anything they could do for our event and they will be here to help us clean it up at 2.30 p.m. They just keep going.”

Despite the beautifully sunny weather that provided a bit of a reprieve for the event, Mayor Bennington expressed some concern about clouds that could appear on the horizon. While the kids where hunting for eggs in the haystack, the area was under a rainfall warning that evening. While the Mayor worried it would give Shelburne “another kick in the pants” before everything was cleaned up, he said he hoped Mother Nature would give the Town a break.

“From my trip around Town [on Sunday] the Town looks 1,000 times better than it did on Friday morning, but what has really impressed me most is neighbours helping neighbours and that is what Shelburne is all about,” he said.

By Brock Weir

         

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