It was a sure bet that there would be a lot of pint-sized takers for the Shady Acres Annual Easter Egg hunt, held the morning of April 4, at the soon to be renovated Wright-Bembry Park on West 23rd Street.
More than 100 families were in attendance to hunt Easter Eggs, take a swing at an Easter piñata, meet a very enthusiastic Easter bunny and socialize with neighbors. Canine family members were not left out of the fun either – there was a dog biscuit hunt following the Easter Egg hunt.
“We have so many more families here now,” said Shady Acres Civic Club member Sharon Sawallisch, who moved to Shady Acres 30 years ago. While Sawallisch is not as big of fan of the high density housing that is permeating the area, she does say that it is “bringing a lot of good people here.”
Civic Club President Diane Mosier also moved to Shady Acres thirty years ago because the area was more affordable then than Oak Forest and said that it is nice to see the area “coming full circle.”
Mosier said that the civic club is growing – this year’s Neighbors Night Out brought 250 people out, which was 200 more people than the previous year.
This was the first year for the hunt to be at Wright-Bembry Park. In previous years it has been held at Little Thicket Park, but because the club is still raising funds for additions to Wright-Bembry, the organizers wanted to have it there.
Kallie Benes, the president of the Shady Acres Moms’ Group, was one of the lead organizers of the event, along with Mosier and Krystal Heizen, the civic club secretary. Venes and fellow mom’s group members went door to door circulating flyers. Area businesses also helped hype the hunt. The civic group and mom’s club posted the event on their social media accounts as well.
The dog biscuit hunt was the brainchild of Sandy Wing, the civic club treasurer, a dog lover. Wing was not alone. There were plenty of dog parents capturing the moment of the hunt for posterity.
Roger Capuchino, wife Shauna and son Ethan, who live on 24th Street were one of the families who came out for the festivities.
Shauna Capuchino said that she found out about the event earlier in the week and really appreciated getting connected through the Facebook page of the mom’s group.
“We are an emerging neighborhood reclaiming it for a new generation,” said Mosier. “We’re really building momentum.”