Sunday, April 08, 2007

Reno Sig Eps Bring Easter to Community

Fraternity helps bring Easter cheer
Alexis Gray
Reno Gazette-Journal

Easter came a day early for several families and children in Reno on Saturday with the help of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The kids took part in an Easter egg hunt Saturday morning at Whitaker Park near Ralston Street and University Terrace.

Ryan Chaput of Reno and his sister-in-law, Nena Nguyen, gathered in the sandbox as her children Kimberly, 10, Nicholas, 8, and Mia, 10 months, dug around searching for eggs.

"This is a great opportunity for the kids," Chaput said. "It's nice that the fraternity would have something like this for the kids."

Nguyen and her family came from California to visit family for Easter.

What are the best parts about the holiday?

"Lots of eggs and lots of candy!" replied Kimberly, her Easter basket overflowing with eggs.

The hunt began about 10 a.m. Earlier, fraternity members hid the eggs in various places.

The children gathered around park benches to color the eggs. Eggs in pastel shades of blue, green and yellow popped up all around. Using crayons, the kids scribbled their names on the eggs.

As the morning went on, more families appeared, prompting a second hunt.
Fraternity members held signs along the streets, announcing the festivities.

"We just stumbled across this, and I'm so glad we did," said Lynette Johnson of Reno, who spotted the signs while driving by.

She stopped for the egg hunt so that her two sons, Colton, 2 and Carson, 3, could take part. The boys were smiling as they prepared to paint eggs.

"We wanted the kids to be able to enjoy themselves this Easter so this is just perfect," Johnson said.

The fraternity also organized other activities as part of the event, including sack races across the park. Doughnuts, water and orange juice were provided. And the Food Bank of Northern Nevada organized a canned food drive on-site so that people could drop off items.

Memo Sanchez, 21, a nutrition major at UNR, organized the egg hunt as a SigEp member. "We wanted to do something different," Sanchez said.

Mitchell Spieth, 22, a fourth-year health ecology major, watched as children searched for colored eggs.

"We're trying to build a community consciousness about our Greek community," Spieth said. "It's going very well for being our first year."