FORT SILL, Oklahoma (April 5, 2021) -- Fort Sill kicked off Month of the Military Child activities with the Easter Eggstravaganza April 3, at Butner and Cowan fields. The Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation’s free annual egg hunt drew hundreds of families from the Lawton Fort Sill community.
About 20,000 plastic eggs with candy were spread over five fields for different age groups, said Fabiola Navarro, MWR special events coordinator. Beginning at noon, and then every 10 minutes later, different age groups would begin their hunts. That way parents could watch all their children’s hunts.
The two-hour event began at 11 a.m., and it also featured a variety of family friendly games, Navarro said. About 1,000 people were expected.
Army Community Service had tables set up to promote some of its programs, including Child and Youth Services, as well as the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP).
Merilee Nevins, EFMP manager, and Nicole Tazwell, EFMP systems navigator, manned a table at the event promoting their services.
“We had a separate egg hunt area for EFMP families, so they could have a little bit more space to themselves and go at their own pace,” Tazwell said.
Nevins said it was good to see the community interacting outside, and that many EFPM services have been done virtually the past year.
“There’s been a lot of isolation because of COVID, so we’re excited to be out here and seeing families again,” she said.
The Directorate of Emergency Services had a major presence at the egg hunt with firefighters and police officers with their vehicles for children to enter.
Fort Sill firefighter and driver Jesse Neugebauer was one of four firefighters out with Engine No. 4 and a brushtruck.
“We have helmets that we’re giving out to the kids,” he said. “Everybody’s loving it.”
The firefighters also answered parents’ burning questions about fire safety, he said.
And, police officers Karisma Gulley and Lt. Virginia Gammon showed kids the controls on their cruiser, and passed out coloring books.
About a dozen volunteers from MWR, military units, and the Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers (BOSS) helped with the set up, games and crafts, and with the tear down, Navarro said.
BOSS vice president Spc. Todd Mitchell said there were three BOSS council members volunteering at the Easter egg hunt, and that community service is one of the pillars of the program.
“A lot of times people feel like BOSS only focuses on single Soldiers, but we also come out and show the common love for the Fort Sill community,” Mitchell said.
BOSS Soldiers ran a Krazy Kans game, and provided children with candy, balloons, mazes, and coloring books, Mitchell said.
Beverly Burgess, MWR Commercial Sponsorship and Advertising director, said the eggstravaganza was sponsored by Corvias, EZ Go, Fort Sill Federal Credit Union, and the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Red Rock.
Amista Chambers, Cohen Military Family Clinic director, said her information table drew a lot of interest. The clinic opened in Lawton in October performing telehealth, but began seeing patients inside April 1.
“We’re out here because we want to support this wonderful community as much as we can,” Chambers said.
Burgess said the sponsorship really enhanced the event with the purchase of eggs and activities.
“There was such a great turn out, and there were a lot of smiles out here today,” she said.
Note: The next MWR communitywide event is the free Spring Festival April 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area. Sponsorship does not imply federal endorsement.