By Guillermo Lopez, Correspondent
The Annual Easter Egg Hunt took the Belton community by storm was children lined up for a chance to fill their baskets. The egg hunt, which is held by Discover Downtown Belton and many other local shops/organizations, was led this year by Leila Valchar. Valchar is the owner of My Giving Tree Gift Shop & Art Gallery in Downtown Belton and has participated in the egg hunt for years.
“It’s usually something that brings excitement,” said Valchar, explaining how this was her fourth year hosting and helping with the egg hunt.
The event not only gave back to the community of Belton but also brought attention to a local organization here in Belton: Aware Central Texas. The organization strives to inform and abolish child abuse, whether it be in the Belton Area, or around the world. The egg hunt serves as a means of getting the word out about the organization while focusing on the community kids themselves.
“It’s people like Leila that step up,” explained Harriet Brodie, who is a member of Aware Central Texas. Valchar and Brodie have collaborated on the egg hunt for the past four years, working to give back to the children of Belton while getting the word out.
The egg hunt first started four years ago when Walmart provided a donation of Easter baskets for the children. According to Bernie Curry, who is a six-year volunteer for Aware Central Texas, the donation was the kick starter to help the event grow over the years. The event only cost one dollar per child, and baskets were provided for those who did not have one. The Egg Hunt was separated into two sections: one side for toddlers and the other for older children. The idea was to give every child a chance to gather a decent amount of eggs in their basket.
The event was also sponsored by local businesses such as Garlyn Shelton Family of Dealerships, JGS Motors, and Big Mouth Motors.
All the proceeds went straight to Aware Central Texas, who hope to join together with Valchar and Discover Downtown Belton again next year.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story credited DBMA as the sponsor for the Easter Egg Hunt in the headline. It has since been updated.
Photos by Christopher Winston.