by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Perennial Easter Bunny Joellen Sweeney, a CHS graduate and junior at Willamette University, greets Bryn Pyper and dad Brian Pyper.Some Inner Southeast Portland events have become generational – including the annual Easter Egg Hunt held at Westmoreland Park on the day before Easter. This year, that was the sunny morning of March 30th.

Sponsored by the Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League neighborhood Association (SMILE), and hosted by the Oaks Bottom Lions Club, this year’s brief-yet-intensely-joyful event did not disappoint.

“I’m not sure how long it’s been going on,” Oaks Bottom Lions Club President Mary Hankins told THE BEE. “But, kids who once participated are now bringing their own children.”

The dozen-or-so Lions Club members who “sowed” the area with brightly-colored, foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs were happy to help out, Hankins said, “Because we believe in community service. And, it’s events like these that bring the community together.”

Divided into age groupings, kids and parents did their best to wait patiently for the 10 o’clock hour to arrive. A 15-second count down amplified egg-hunting aspirations to near frenzy levels among the kids. At 10 am sharp it was organized pandemonium, as the dash was on for the candies in the grass.

And, at 10:07 am, all but a few eggs had already found their way into the pockets, bags, and baskets of the eager children. Parents arriving at 10:08 am were clearly disappointed – until some of the Lions volunteers “accidently dropped” additional handfuls of treats for the late arrivals.

Sunshine and smiles – it’s the perfect ending for this cherished yearly event. But be sure to come EARLY next year. It starts at 10 am sharp. 10:08 is too late.

To learn more about the Oaks Bottom Lions Club, go online to: And, for more about SMILE, visit its blog at:, and its informational website:

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