By Shanna O’Mara
Knees bent, eyes darting and hearts pounding, students lifted the white flags meant to bar them from the field of prizes. Nine thousand eggs rested in the grass, but only one contained that little white slip everyone was looking for — a Royal Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas.
The countdown blared from the speakers, “Three, two, one,” and in seconds, the plastic eggs were scooped up, their retrievers weaving through the crowd in search of more prizes. The chaos settled and the area cleared, everyone retreating back to the sidewalks to sift through their bags.
Tape was ripped from the plastic as eggs popped open and candy spilled out into the hands of hungry hunters. In one huddle of friends, a girl opened three eggs to find Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie Rolls and even a gift card for RedBerry Frozen Yogurt. Delighted with her finds, she unsealed her fourth egg to find a slip of paper adorned with palm trees.
“I started freaking out and jumping,” said Esther Folaranmi, junior business administration major. “I showed Stacy [Coggan] the slip, not truly believing it was real. She confirmed it for me, but I was still in total disbelief until John Mozes shook my hand and declared me the winner.”
Folaranmi teared up, her hands shaking as a crowd formed around her. “It felt so surreal,” she said, recounting the moment people began flocking to the prize table to see the lucky winner of the cruise from Vacations by Stacy.
“It’s funny to me because everyone keeps saying, ‘You’re so lucky,’ and I just laugh because I’m usually the one who doesn’t win,” Folaranmi said.
Other prizes included a coupon for a Rider class ring, Trenton Thunder tickets, a free laser tag party at Colonial Bowling & Entertainment and a discounted application fee for studying abroad. There were over 1,000 prizes, including candy — totaling a value of $20,000 — according to Mozes, the general manager of 107.7 The Bronc.
“Everyone, for an hour or two, gets to feel like a kid again,” Mozes said of the Eggscellent Egg Hunt which attracted 1,500 members of the Rider community. Attendees could grab a slice of DeLorenzo’s pizza and a cup of Captain Paul’s water ice and then cross the lawn to pet chicks, sheep, therapy dogs and mini goats.
“We needed a little pick-me-up in school spirit,” said freshman arts administration major Savannah Cones.
The warm weather made its debut and seemed to cooperate with the Eggscellent Egg Hunt, enticing people to enjoy the sunshine and each other’s company.
“It got people out of their rooms to enjoy their time at Rider,” said Erin-Marquise Watson, sophomore popular music studies major. “This event and Scream Screen did a lot to increase morale.”
The Bronc, with support from local sponsors, hosts events such as Scream Screen in October, Dessert Wars every spring and now the egg hunt for the second year in a row.
Jared Gollin, a junior filmmaking, TV and radio major, said these events not only benefit the atmosphere on campus but also the reputation Rider establishes.
“It really gets our name out there,” Gollin said. “It proves that we are the best college radio station in New Jersey. We put on the best events here. This has been a massive success. It puts Rider on the map and keeps Rider relevant.”