55,000 eggs not enough

April 11, 2019 GMT

MICHIGAN CITY – The children who take part in the Michigan City Police Department’s seventh annual Easter Egg Hunt at Washington Park this weekend are in for a big surprise.

While the department anticipated they’d be able to fill about 55,000 plastic eggs with candy, more than a hundred volunteers worked together Wednesday morning to pack around 70,000 eggs in just a few hours at the Michigan City Senior Center.

“We had a lot of generous donors this year that contributed, so therefore, we have much more candy and many more eggs we were able to purchase,” Police Chief Mark Swistek said.

In addition to candy, some eggs contain special coins that entitle the finders to redeem them for merchandise at designated tents that will be set up throughout the park. Swistek estimated around 350 toys and pieces of sporting equipment will be up for grabs.

“This annual event has really grown, and it’s nice to be able to contribute back to the community,” the chief said.

Saturday’s egg hunt will begin precisely at noon at Fedder’s Alley in Washington Park. Entertainment from “Captain” Ed Beutner and the Washington Park Zoo is set to start at 11 a.m.

Participation is free and open to all children ages 12 and under.

The MCPD encourages guests to arrive early, as traffic usually backs up along Lake Shore Drive leading up to the event.

“This is a way for the men and women of the department to engage the youth of our community in a non-enforcement role,” Swistek said.

“It gives us a chance to see the families who come out together spending a great afternoon with not only family time, but the community. It’s great to bring thousands of people together for a safe, fun event. We look forward to this each and every year.”

Primary sponsors for this year’s event include Captain Ed’s, the South Shore Line and the city of Michigan City. But nearly 30 other businesses and organizations contributed.

“You name it, practically every major business in Michigan City donated to this,” Swistek said. “So, we’re very, very grateful for all the donations.”

Among the other sponsors were: ALCO, NIPSCO, Walmart, General Insurance Services, La Porte County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Galveston Steak House, Michigan City Port Authority, Exchange Club of Michigan City, One Source, Fannie May, Horizon Bank, Rotary Club of Michigan City, Domino’s Pizza, American Licorice, LINDT Chocolates, Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald’s, Michigan City Parks & Recreation Department, WIMS, WEFM, Washington Park Zoo, The News-Dispatch, William Richey – Automated Data, Meijer, Michigan City Senior Center, Members Advantage Credit Union, Kathryn Stransky, Sharon Carnes and Laurence Silvestri; and the United Way of Greater La Porte County.

Swistek said the egg hunt kicks off the MCPD’s community outreach efforts each year. In the months to come, the chief looks forward to engaging Michigan City residents of all ages in various initiatives including the Citizens Police Academy, Youth Leadership Academy, Kiddie Parade, cardboard boat races, back-to-school rally and many other events.