Fun found at Easter Egg Brawl

Published 7:06 pm Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday afternoon they lined up, engines at the ready and agleam in their eyes, waiting on the countdown to barrel ahead,their little motors roaring and eyes on the prizes.

And the best part is that when the adrenaline subsided, everyonewent home a winner from the Mamie Martin Easter Egg Brawl.

The Brawl is in its fifth year at the school, and thefirst-grade has completed the challenge. Kindergarten and thesecond grade will have their Egg Brawl on Wednesday and Thursday,officials said.

Recreation Department Director Terry Reid said the event got itsname early on, because the kids would do whatever it took to getanother egg in their basket.

“The first year, we put the eggs out and those kids wererunning, tripping, falling and pushing like there was no tomorrow,so I called it the Easter Egg Brawl, and now that’s become itsgiven name,” he said. “Once they start running, you’ll see why.Someone who’s never seen it might not understand.”

The way it works, officials said, is that three days aredesignated each spring for the Egg Brawl, with the kindergarten,first- and second-grade classes are each given a day. Two thousandeggs are laid on the ground each day, and the children are lined upand given Wal-Mart bags. Then on the word, “go,” they run for theprize, gathering as many eggs into their bags as possible.

Then, once the field is clear of prizes, the eggs are taken upand redistributed to make sure all the children get to take homesome eggs.

“You’ll have kids that get 30, and you’ll have kids that gettwo,” Reid said. “One year there was a little boy who went over tothe slide and started playing. He wasn’t worried about the eggs atall.”

And like any other good race, the recreation departmentofficials keep time, and compare the times of the ages, just forfun.

“Two minutes and forty-three seconds,” Reid said when thefirst-graders were all back in their groups with their teachersafter the charge was complete.

Last year’s best was in the minute and 50 seconds range, theysaid. But those were the second-graders, who have two years ofbrawling under their belts.

First-grade teacher Nancy Reno said she has specificinstructions for her kids before she turns them loose on the fieldof eggs.

“I tell them to be kind and don’t run over anybody, and thatwe’ll make sure everyone gets some eggs,” she said.

The event used to be held at Kid’s Kingdom, Reid said, but thechildren who attended were all children who would probably haveother egg hunts to attend as well.

“The kids who were coming to the Brawl knew what Easter egghunts were, and meanwhile there were kids out there who didn’t havea way to get to it,” he said. “I wanted to find a way to coverevery child, so we asked the board (of aldermen) if we could bringit here.”

Also, the egg hunt had to be held on a Saturday morning, whichmade it hard to get parents to want to get out on the weekend. Butthe point in holding it at the school, Reid said, is that everychild gets an egg hunt.

“Rich, poor, middle, every kid in Brookhaven gets to hunt Eastereggs at some point,” Reid said, adding that sometimes the childrenhave even asked their teacher what Easter is.

Jimmy Furlow Senior Citizen Center Director Nancy Ray said thisis her first year to watch the Egg Brawl, and that it was hard notto be excited right along with the children. She also pointed outthat the Brawl is, in a way, an event for all ages.

“I see why they call it the Egg Brawl,” Ray said. “I was alsosurprised to see the neighbors out in their yard, watching.”