VINEMONT, Ala. –Neither inclement weather earlier in the week, nor a change in location, nor canes and walkers were going to stop Cullman area seniors from enjoying food, fellowship and fun at Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center on Wednesday for the Cullman County Commission on Aging’s annual Senior Egg Hunt. Scatterings of pastel and brightly colored eggs contrasted with the rich earth tones of the clay and hay of the arena while seniors filed in, some donning their best Easter hats and bunny ears, but all ready for some fun and friendly competition.
The event began with a greeting from Commission on Aging Executive Director Stephanie Lawson, who thanked the myriad sponsors for their donations and time, with a special thanks to Cullman County Parks and Recreation, which was quick to act when inclement weather threatened the possibility of cancelation of the event. Others who gave their greetings and best wishes for luck included Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry; Cullman County Commissioners Kelly Duke, Kerry Watson and Garry Marchman; Cullman County Commission Chairman Jeff Clemons; Cullman County Probate Judge Tammy Brown; and Cullman County District Attorney Champ Crocker.
Pastor Ory Hampton of Daystar Church, Good Hope campus, shared an inspiring Easter message with the overarching theme, repeated aloud by those in attendance, “the story continues.” The message was one of hope, of seeing the good and grace of being allowed to grow older in a society that may not always place much value on an older generation.
“I believe as long as someone is still breathing, God has a purpose for them,” he stated matter-of-factly. “We as the Cullman community, we need you. As a pastor here in the Cullman area, I need you. I need your wisdom, I need your encouragement, I need your prayers. But I need you, more than anything, to realize that your story is continuing.”
After the stirring message, seniors lined up and descended upon the center arena. The hunt for filled eggs was on. Not a single straw of hay was left unturned, and not a single plastic egg- out of 2,000 eggs!- was left.
The grand prize egg, $150 from Crocker, was drawn from tickets distributed at the door as the seniors came in. Lucky local senior Colene Wells from Crane Hill won, with Sandra Harris winning the second place prize of a $25 gift card to Cracker Barrel, which was sponsored by Gentry.
Crocker made sure to share his appreciation for being given the opportunity to make the event extra special, sharing, “The seniors are the lifeblood of this community. There’s so many active groups here on-hand today, and it’s just a privilege to be here.”
The senior centers that are operated full time under Commission on Aging’s umbrella were also able to join in on the fun, with a creative and massive paper mâché egg decorating contest. The eggs all had themes of pastels and bunnies, biblical Easter references or a mixture of the two. Prizes awarded for these colossal eggs were donated by Misti Easter of First Federal Mortgage, whose team has a rich volunteer history with local seniors.
“We volunteered at the Colony center a while back, and we’ve been wanting to get more involved with them,” she said. “They reached out to us to sponsor this, and we were so blessed to be able to do so!”
Colony Senior Center won first place, West Point Senior Center won second place and Crane Hill Senior Center won third place.
The Senior Egg Hunt was a wild success, with local senior Kathy Miller sharing, “This was my first time attending and it was very well organized. I met some new people from different senior centers and the fellowship was great!”
Lawson added, “The turnout blew me away! The seniors really showed up today which makes us all so very happy. They are the whole reason why we do what we do. This is a total group effort from Commission on Aging staff, all the elected officials who showed up and every single business that helped sponsor to make this day as special as possible for these folks.”
Missed this year’s Senior Egg Hunt? Don’t miss out on the next event, Senior Fishing Day at Hanceville’s Veterans Park on Friday, April 21, 2023.
Make sure to stay in the loop with other activities planned for seniors by following the Cullman Commission on Aging on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coacullman.
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