Hundreds of New Canaan kids are expected to scramble for eggs at New Canaan High School Saturday, where the Easter Bunny and bouncy houses and family-friendly fun will take place at the 40th Annual Egg Hunt, thanks to the New Canaan Young Women's League.
Patch caught up with YWL board member Jennifer Laurence to talk about the hunt, the anniversary and what's coming up next for the League.
Patch: 40 years! That's quite a New Canaan tradition. How has the egg hunt changed over the years?
Laurence: Yes! the Easter Egg Hunt has definitely become part of the fabric of New Canaan's character. Technically, the event has always been a fundraiser for the YWL's Giving Fund (which is distributed to nonprofits at the end of our active season in May), but in reality, its more of a community service event. We earn very little money from the EEH, but we do create a very fun morning for thousands of New Canaan residents. Over the years, we've added and removed activities from the event—in the '70s, egg salad sandwiches were sold. It would be tough to make, store and sell 1,000 egg sandwiches today, the draw to the event has just become so large. So instead, we have over 1,000 cupcakes, cookies and muffins at the EEH baked good table.
Patch: Let's talk about the candy. We hear you actually stuff 10,000 eggs.
Laurence: Yes its true! Wednesday night YWL members and friends that they brought along, stuffed about 8,000 plastic Easter Eggs with jelly beans, chocolate eggs and coupons to the New Canaan Toy Store. Another 2,000 eggs were stuffed by local girl scout troops. It's an all-hands-on-deck effort!
Patch: That sounds like a lot of work! What else is happening?
Laurence: It is a lot of work, but its a lot of fun to put on this event. too. We would be hard-pressed to do it alone, but luckily, we've got sponsors who appreciate the event as much as we do and come back year after year to help. Zumbach's Gourmet Coffee provides the coffee that we sell, Cobble Court Interiors picked up the tab for the plastic eggs, New Canaan Toy Store donated the coupons tucked inside the eggs, The Bank of New Canaan and Playland Day Camp & Nursery School sponsors the bouncy houses, Diligence underwrites the cost of Magic by Melissa balloon figurines and Pepe Motors sponsors the Masqueraders Dixieland Band.
And to memorialize the day, Venture Photography will take your photo with Mr. and Mrs. Bunny for a $5 sitting fee. Besides the Masqueraders Dixieland Band, dancers from New Canaan Dance Academy will be on hand to entertain before the actual egg hunt.
Patch: Your website has a long list of community-based groups the league supports. What are you most proud of, being a member of YWL?
Laurence: I feel very lucky to be a part of the YWL; the organization has made it so easy for me to help others and to open my eyes to the needs of others in this part of Connecticut. It's easy to forget that not everyone is as blessed as I am to live in such a pleasant community, surrounded by people with similar values and goals. The YWL has educated me on dozens of amazing organizations, all with the singular goal of making life better for people. I am so proud of the collective work League's members are able to do in any given year.
Patch: What's coming up next for YWL?
Laurence: Couture For A Cause on May 3—our last big fundraiser of the year. We've always had a small, member's only fashion show, but two years ago, we decided to ramp it up, big time! Now the event is open to the public and we hold it at the Loading Dock in Stamford. There's dancing, light bites and a silent auction with items you actually want to win, really cool, unique stuff. The event is May 3 at 7 p.m. It's a great night out for the girls or for couples. We're showing spring looks, exclusively from New Canaan stores and our models are YWL members and other well-known faces from New Canaan. And maybe even a politician or two? You'll have to be there to find out who!
Tickets for Couture for a Cause are on sale at ywlnewcanaan.org or in town at She La La, La Malle Couture, Caren Forbes and Soleil Toile.