KIMBALL, Wis. - Temperatures in the low 40s and overcast skies didn't stop area residents from getting in the holiday spirit Saturday at an Easter egg hunt offered by the Penokee Range 4-H Livestock Club at Little Finland in Kimball.
The event ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a plan to offer an ongoing egg hunt. Children were given bags that would limit the amount of eggs they could gather to allow all attendees an equal chance for candy and trinkets hidden inside.
All the eggs were collected by about noon.
There were plenty of other activities to keep children and their families entertained. The event included a small animal petting zoo, a photo booth with baby animals, visits with the Easter bunny and chicken bingo. A bake sale and a hot dog or sloppy joe lunch were also offered.
The petting zoo featured rabbits, chickens and lambs loaned from several area residents. A 10-year-old Newfoundland from the HOPE Animal Shelter also visited with the children.
Attendees included Stephanie Lewis and her daughters Alyssa, 11, and Kaley, 8, of Bessemer. Lewis said she had been involved with 4-H since she was 12, and even though her children aren't currently members, they're happy to attend the event and support a good cause. "We always try to support the club when they're doing something," Lewis said.
The event served as a fundraiser for the club, 4-H leader Carolyn Alonen said. "The funds will go to doing improvements for things at the fairgrounds," she said. Plans are to put fans in the 4-H livestock building at the Iron County Fairgrounds and provide tools like wheelbarrows and shovels for exhibitors to use.
Plenty of club members and their families pitched in to help make the event a success, Alonen said. "All the 4-H members and their families bought and donated the eggs," she said. They also donated baked goods for the sale. Some bake sale items were even donated by non-members who just wanted to help out, she said.
Michelle Thomasini/Daily Globe
SISTERS ALYSSA Lewis, right, 11, and Kaley Lewis, 8, of Bessemer, pet a bunny held by Stephanie Rhenlund at the Penokee Range 4-H Livestock Club's Easter egg hunt and petting zoo Saturday at Little Finland in Kimball, Wis.
Members were on hand throughout the day to keep things running smoothly, serving lunches, keeping an eye on the animals and taking photos. "Almost all the club members are here helping out," Alonen said. "We have 20 or 21 club members and they're pretty much all helping today."
Helpers included Katelyn Rhenlund and Maddie Olkonen, both in their ninth year as 4-H'ers. The girls are both 15 and are sophomores at Hurley High School. Rhenlund said she enjoys lending a hand at club events because she likes seeing new kids get involved in 4-H.
Volunteering at events like this also has a benefit for the youth. "This is considered a community service for the kids," Alonen said. "We recommend that they do community service, so we do things like this and help with stuff at the fairgrounds."
About halfway through the event, Alonen said the club was pleased with the turnout, calling it "very good so far." She said they hope to offer a similar event again and were happy with the support from the community.
"We'd like to thank the community and everyone that came out," Alonen said.