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March 31, 2013

Bird? Plane? Easter egg!

Skydivers bring Easter spirit to Flora

FLORA — About 5,000 candy-stuffed Easter eggs fell from the sky Saturday to join the additional 25,000 already spread across the Carroll Junior-Senior High School football field for the New Hope Community Church’s fifth annual Flora Egg Drop.

One by one, three skydivers with the group AirIndiana jumped from an airplane that circled above the football field. As each skydiver descended, they let loose a colorful shower of Easter eggs onto the field, causing a clamor of cheers and applause from families on the bleachers below.

After the final skydiver had landed safely, kids and their parents lined up on the sidelines before receiving the go-ahead to rush out and snatch up as many eggs as they could.

“It’s our Easter gift to the community,” said Pastor Scott Gamel of New Hope Community Church. “We want to provide an event for the community that’s fun, family-focused and that reminds people it’s Easter.”

Gamel estimated more than 1,000 people showed up for the egg hunt. He said it might have been lower than the 2,000 that have come out in previous years because the drop was scheduled on the last weekend of spring break this year.

“It’s the largest event like this in our area, just in the number of eggs,” Gamel said.

Adam Yeakley said he and his wife Susan have brought their children Alexis and Brady to the egg drop for the last four years.

“The kids love it,” Adam Yeakley said as his daughter and son sorted the candy out of the plastic Easter eggs overflowing from their baskets. “New Hope Community Church is great with the community. They definitely get an A-plus for their participation.”

George Capitanio, a skydiver with AirIndiana who has been skydiving since 1991 with over 5,000 jumps, said it was the third or fourth year he had participated in the event. He said he does it to give back to the community. Capitanio grew up in Flora.

“It’s for a good cause and gives the kids something to look forward to,” he said.

Shawn and Tiffany Harter said it was the second year they’ve brought their daughters to the egg drop.

“It’s organized, it’s free,” Tiffany Harter said. “The kids are super happy with the candy. We like it here — we think it’s awesome.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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