By Deborah Banish
The 18th Annual Rutland Community Easter Egg Hunt was organized, produced and presented by the family of Jerry & Jeanne Leinen on the morning of Saturday, April 20, 2019, in the Rutland Town Hall. Leinen family matriarch and primary organizer of the event, Jeanne Leinen, reports that 1,015 Easter Eggs, one dozen more than last year, each one containing a prize or a prize certificate, were hidden throughout the Hall, waiting to be discovered by the 87 youngsters who enthusiastically participated in the event. After the eggs had been found, the boys and girls were admitted to “Grandma’s Garden,” where they were allowed to choose gifts from a vast selection compiled by Jeanne since Easter of 2018. In a new event for this year, the “Willy Wonka Contest,” youngsters who Found the Golden Tootsie Pop Stick were entered into a drawing for age appropriate gifts. Willy Wonka winners were: 0-2 years old, Vagda Schuster, Starbuck MN – Water Park Set; 3-4 years old, Corbin Carlson, Rutland – Race Game; 5-11 years old, 3 Winners: Eli Olson, Rutland – Blue Tooth Boom Box with Speaker; Brooklyn Pherson, Rutland – Frogger Video Game; Julia Mahrer, Rutland – Drone Flyer; The “Grand Prize Winners were: 0-1 year old, Bronson Heting, Napoleon ND – Stuffed Bunny Rabit; Dylan Gulleson, Rutland – Elephant Parade; Vagda Schuster, Starbuck MN – Little Girl’s Kitchen; 2 year old: Raegan Roney, Rutland – Little Girl’s Kitchen; Lincoln Mahrer, Rutland – T-Ball set; 3 year olds (3): Mia Leno, Wahpeton ND – Pony Land; Ruth McLaen, Rutland – Pony Land; Reece Halmrast, Rutland – Adventure Force Robot; 4 year olds (4) Keegan Dockter, Hugo MN – Gorilla; Marckus Gray Hawk, Fairmount ND – Superman Tower Garage; Natalie Hanson, Forman – Keyboard; Adalyn Mahrer, Rutland – Princess Kingdom; 5-7 year olds (5) Kyler Pherson, Rutland – Road Racing Set; Cohen Jensen, Wyndmere ND – Folding Spiderman Scooter; Brooklyn Pherson, Rutland – Nail Polish Maker; Chino Gray Hawk, Fairmount – Bee-ol-ogy learning Kit; Paislee Pherson, Rutland – 2 Little Treasure Dig Boxes; 8-11 year olds (2) William Kromschroader, Fisher SD – Camera Drone Flyer; and, Camden Bidle, Medina MN – 9” electronic Tablet. A special Grand Prize, a “Talking Rocking Horse,” was won by Mia Leno of Wahpeton. Debbie Banish of Rutland won the only adult prize, a pair of ceramic Easter Bunnies. Deb’s age bracket was not disclosed. About 100 parents, grandparents and other onlookers were on hand to observe all of the activity while enjoying a cup of coffee and a cupcake. A large, pink Easter Bunny who bore a striking resemblance to Jim Brown was also Making the rounds, visiting with kids and posing for pictures. The happy event ended on a down note, though, and with a challenge to the Rutland community. Jeanne Leinen announced that the 2019 Easter Egg Hunt would be her last as Chairperson, although she is willing to assist anyone who steps up to take over organizing the event. Jeanne states that the Easter Egg Hunt is several times larger than it was back in 2002, and she is now 18 years older than she was back then, too. The Rutland Community extends its thanks and appreciation to Jerry & Jeanne Leinen and their family for organizing and producing this event that has become an Easter tradition in Rutland. Thanks to Jeanne Leinen for the names of prize winners and the other information in this article.
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