More than 100 children and their families enjoyed Lehighton Rotary Club's inaugural Community Easter Egg Hunt last Saturday at Lehighton Recreation Center.

"We are very impressed with the turn-out," said Lehighton Rotary Club President Erica Heery. "The registration line went out the door, through the parking lot, and up to the sidewalk."

There were more than 2,000 candy-filled eggs for children up to the age of 10 – including "golden eggs" that were redeemable for special toy-filled Easter baskets. In addition, the Easter Bunny took time out of his busy schedule to greet the families and pose for photos.

Not only did the Community Easter Egg Hunt provide an opportunity for children to have fun, but it benefited those in need as well. Registration was free with the donation of at least one non-perishable food item per child. Without the food donation, the participation fee was $1 per child. All donations were given to the community food pantry at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lehighton, a division of Shepherd House, Inc.

According to Heery, 16 bags of food – totaling 120 non-perishable items – were collected. In addition, participants donated $60 in cash.

"We have to keep in mind that the food pantry needs stocked shelves not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but all year 'round," stressed Heery. "We really appreciate the generosity of the children and their families in donating all of the non-perishable food items and money to the community food pantry."

Lehighton Rotary Club plans to make the Community Easter Egg Hunt benefiting those in need an annual event.

Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs worldwide. Rotarians are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto "Service Above Self."

Locally, Lehighton Rotary Club organized in 1921. Among its community projects, the club annually distributes dictionaries to every third grade student in Lehighton and Palmerton Area School Districts in public, parochial, and private schools. Lehighton Rotary Club also works with high school students to enhance the leadership skills of our future community leaders to serve others.

Lehighton Rotary Club meets Mondays from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Beacon 443 Diner / Restaurant. Prospective new members are invited and encouraged to attend.

For more information, call (610) 377-9706, e-mail LehightonRotary@yahoo.com, or visit www.Rotary.org.