An ‘eggcellent’ idea: Portageville Chamber delivers on Easter

Friday, April 3, 2020
Clint Klipfel, president of the Portageville Chamber of Commerce, takes an opportunity for a practice run at delivering eggs for the Easter Bunny. Instead of its annual Easter egg hunt, the Chamber of Commerce has taken names of children in the community and will deliver eggs to their yards on the night before Easter.
Jill Bock/Standard Democrat

PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. — In this time of coronavirus concerns, even the Easter Bunny is practicing social distancing.

However, with help from members of the Portageville Chamber of Commerce, youngsters will still be able to hunt for Easter eggs. This year, instead of a romp through the park, the hunt will be in their own yards.

According to Chamber President Clint Klipfel, the Portageville Chamber of Commerce annually hosts Bunnies and Blossoms before Easter. The event is an opportunity for stores to display their merchandise for residents and for children to have photos taken with the Easter Bunny. The past two years, the event ended with a glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt.

“We couldn’t do that but we still wanted to do something fun and follow the rules of keeping people at the houses,” said Klipfel.

After some discussion with Chamber members, a plan was developed to deliver 12 toy and candy-filled eggs per child to Portageville homes the night before Easter. The eggs will be placed in the yards for children to find the next day.

When Klipfel posted what he called “eggcellent fun” for families on the Chamber’s Facebook page, the response was immediate.

“It took off,” he said. “It was all I could do to keep up with the spread sheet.”

The list includes toddlers to pre-teens along with the thanks of the parents.

In signing up her daughter, Hayley Ledbetter Carpenter included a large emoji heart and wrote, “God bless you and your sweet, giving hearts.” Judy Disher Scherer described the plan as “an uplifting surprise” while Lishaboo Hampton included emojis and the message “this is so great what you guys are doing for the children” as she signed up her three boys.

By April 1, when sign-up ended, Klipfel said the Chamber had addresses for some 150 houses in the Portageville School District to deliver eggs to. They have 3,000 pre-filled eggs filled with stickers, toys and small prizes to deliver along with packages of candy.

It wasn’t just parents responding to the Chamber’s plan. Klipfel said other community members weighed in as well, offering encouragement and financial support.

“The people in this town are very supportive of anything community-oriented,” he said. “I think no matter what the circumstances, this is a community that wants to be active.”

Despite the fact that COVID-19 has shut the doors of most of the town’s small businesses, Klipfel said, many of the owners have created ways to stay operational. He said some are doing curbside delivery while others are taking phone orders or using social media.

They have also thrown their support behind the revamped Easter egg hunt.

“We as Chamber members are very excited to be able to host a modified event,” said Klipfel. “We are here for the community for what they need. … We see this as a way to help the morale, offer the kids something they can look forward to and ease some of the burden on the parents.”

As the time ticks down to delivery day, Klipfel and other Chamber volunteers are determined to ensure everything will be as safe as possible. They are working on delivery details, too.

“We are very excited about it,” he said. After a brief pause Klipfel added, “It will be a little bit of late night, but we are excited to bring a little bit of joy, a little bit of excitement to community members during troubling times.”

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