Picking up chicks

By Devlynn Deitrick and Shanna O’Mara

Sophomore English major John Modica cuddles a baby chicken at the Eggcellent Egg Hunt on March 23.
Sophomore English major John Modica cuddles a baby chicken at the Eggcellent Egg Hunt on March 23.

The sun beamed down on the Campus Green, while 107.7 The Bronc played the latest hits at the Eggcellent Egg Hunt on March 23. Some students came to compete while others came for the cuddly creatures.

With help from dedicated students and sponsors, including Barnes & Noble at the Rider University Bookstore, Aramark and Rider dining services as well as Gretalia Hospitality Group, the Eggcellent Egg Hunt attracted hundreds of people to the Campus Mall.

“This is something we’ve always wanted to do, and as the station grows, we can host these bigger events with help from our sponsors,” said John Mozes, general manager of the radio station. “They believe in the idea, and we’re able to put it together. We didn’t know what to expect, but I think it was a hit.”

Deana Reed, store manager of the bookstore, helped Mozes coordinate the hunt, marketing the event to gain exposure.

“It was great for students,” said Marccia Pignaloso, general merchandise manager at the bookstore. “We had so many kids come out. It was one of our best events, and we love doing things that bring the students out and make them feel like part of the community. That’s one of our big goals: to be part of the Rider community on campus, not just the bookstore. Deanna Reed really loved working with John Mozes and partnering with the radio station. We had a really great time. All of our employees went out and loved it.”

Students snapped plenty of photos for Instagram at the bunny photo booth, while others enjoyed the frosty Italian ice on a warm spring day.  The bunny and chick petting station was bustling with students eager to hold the baby animals.

“As soon as I saw bunnies, I was in,” said junior criminal justice major Nicole Martignetti.

The main event, the egg hunt, sparked some friendly rivalry amongst competitors. With hundreds of prizes, the pastel eggs were scattered around the campus mall when students began to hunt.

“An egg hunt is one of the first sure signs of spring,” Mozes said. “I think what the egg hunt does is it brings back everyone’s childhood. Everyone can be a kid again — wear shorts, play outside. I think we created that atmosphere today with the beautiful day we had at the Eggcellent Egg Hunt. I just think spring, bunnies, chicks, eggs, prizes — that makes you think, ‘OK, here we go. Winter is gone.’”

Freshman political science major Shelby Habermehl won seven prizes. From Bronc Bucks, to giftcards from Buffalo Wild Wings and PJ’s Pancake ouse, she left with a pocketful of rewards. She also shared her secret to success. “I just picked the ones that I liked the colors of.”

Senior human resource management major Sandra DiGrazio wasn’t as successful; however, she did say, “I got my little big book of savings, so I still feel like a winner.”

Members from the station began planning months ago and set-up for the event started around 5:30 a.m. that day. Their efforts did not go unnoticed.

“It was very cool and something different,” said junior communications studies major Brionna Hawkins. “I definitely think this event was a success.”

Mozes said the significance of the event was not only to entertain students but also to gain positive press for the university and to prepare students from the station for their futures in the media industry.

“This is important to the station because it teaches our kids how to run, market and brand an event,” he said. “I think it’s important to the university because today we had tour groups going through. So these groups saw 6,000 eggs outside, and 500 or so students running around outside like mad people. It just looks like it’s fun, so it’s important to them. It’s important to the student so they know we’re student-centered and have their educational and social experience in mind.”

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