Jacob Wolftongue rushed across the softball field Saturday morning to gather Easter eggs but slowed down to help a younger and struggling schoolmate.
"I liked watching my son help a little boy with Down syndrome," said Wolftongue's mother, Elisia Chavez.
"He (her son) picked up the eggs and gave them to the little boy. He made me cry. This is the first time we came to the Easter egg hunt."
The community Easter egg hunt Saturday at the Guy Leeder Softball Complex offered children a way to celebrate Easter.
More than 1,000 adults and children attended the hunt, making it the most successful yet, according to Claire Burroughes, Legislative and Community Development director. Burroughes said the turnout was greater this year because of warmer weather and a more strategic location. The hunt was held beside the Hillcrest dog park in 2012.
Burroughes also said there were more eggs to hunt this year and the venue enabled adults to better control the event, which lasted about 45 minutes.
The hunt was divided into four parts. It kicked off with infants to 2 year olds. Other categories were ages 3-5, ages 6-8 and ages 9-12.
Hundreds of children dressed in shorts, T-shirts and summer dresses lined up with empty baskets in hand eager to fill them with eggs. Once the announcer counted down, children scrambled across a softball diamond to pick up as many eggs as possible.
Infants and children up to age 2 were allowed parent assistance. Many parents ran behind their child snapping pictures as they searched for eggs. Children ages 3 and up had to search for eggs on their own.
Wolftongue attended the event with his mother Elisia Chavez, his mother's boyfriend and his three sisters for the first time ever.
"It was cool," said Wolftongue, a fifth grader at the Arts Academy at Bella Vista.
"The kid from my school looked like he needed help a little so I just helped him. He's in kindergarten."
Wolftongue said he would most likely give his eight eggs containing Tootsie Roll candy to his younger sister.
Here's what other Easter egg hunters said:
- Auria Bell, a third grader at Zia Elementary, collected about 15 eggs and seven tickets giving free admission to the skating rink. Bell said Saturday was her seventh year participating in the Easter egg hunt.
"You have a blast," Bell said.
"You get to find free stuff when you're running around. I saw three of my friends. I wish the Easter egg hunt could be made for everybody."
- Brody May, a second grader at Parkview Elementary, found more than 10 eggs.
"I like the money and I want to win a bike," said May, smiling and swinging his Easter egg basket.
"It was fun. I'm going to keep my eggs for myself."
- Chanel Waters, a preschool student at the Cannon Air Force Base child development center, got her face airbrushed white and pink to resemble a bunny.
"I want to find bubble gum candy in my eggs," said Waters, minutes before heading to Cannon AFB with her mother Chanel to participate in another Easter egg hunt.