By Lauren Minore
Students scrambled over 10,000 brightly-colored eggs to find the $1000 grand prize during 107.7 The Bronc’s fourth annual Eggcellent Egg Hunt on April 16.
Surrounding the Campus Mall, among the various food trucks and vendors, were enthusiastic participants ready for the chance to grab the egg that would make them $1000 richer.
Students donned bright red bags, handed out by the Student Government Association (SGA), to collect their eggs, while they impatiently waited for the moment the announcer would count down, “Three, two, one, go” to initiate the hunt.
The DiLorenzo’s pizza food truck and Rita’s Italian Ice were the last things on students’ minds as they ran across the grass, spreading themselves out to gather as many bright shells as they could.
Almost as quickly as the hunt started, the winner was announced.
Alicia Thompson, a freshman accounting major, was confused when she was about to open one of the green eggs she grabbed because it felt light. When she saw what was inside, she quickly realized it was the opposite of empty.
“When the egg opened, all I saw was the zeros, I was speechless. I was jumping up and down telling my friends that I won,” Thompson said. “I soon realized I had to control myself because I thought someone was going to take the egg away from me.”
When she won the money, Thompson was escorted by Pamela Pruitt, director of the center of diversity and inclusion, to claim her prize.
“Alicia came up to me and said, ‘Dr. Pruitt, I just won the $1000.’ I said, ‘You did?’ And when she said yes, I asked to see the ticket. After showing it to me, I told her to put it safely in the pouch on her jacket and we interlocked arms and we walked briskly to The Bronc 107.7 table,” Pruitt said. “Kristine Brown from University Communications came up to us, and I told her that Alicia had won the $1000 and Kristine escorted us to the winner’s table. We were so excited for Alicia. In fact, I’m still excited.”
Among the 15 sponsors at the event, John Mozes, general manager of 107.7 The Bronc, said that Barnes and Noble at the Rider Bookstore, SGA, Gourmet Dining and Xfinity made the event possible.
Mozes said part of his previous experience as a broadcaster in commercial radio involved planning successful events, like egg hunts, which was what inspired him to bring the idea to life on a college campus.
“The other part [of my thought-process] was for my students here, finding ways to give them engaged learning opportunities,” he said.
Mozes explained that broadcasting has become event-driven because it is a great way for stations to get sponsor dollars and to market and promote their company. He also expressed the importance of preparing his students for the industry to give them an edge above other candidates going forward.
“I was looking for events that could give my students something more on their resume to make them stand out from the crowd, something that sets them apart from anybody else,” he said. “The fact that they are able to run these large-scale events makes them much more marketable. The idea was then to give the [107.7 The Bronc] students an engaged learning opportunity and to give the Rider students the opportunity to be engaged.”
Mozes said the planning process begins the day after the previous year’s event. However, with almost year-long planning, obstacles are bound to pop up.
“One of the kinks this year is that we didn’t have baby chicks, which is everybody’s favorite,” he said. “We double checked as early as the day before, and [the company] said, “We’re all good for the chicks,” and my two students [who went to pick them up] called me up and said, “There’s no chicks, they sold them yesterday.””
Mozes then asked his students to request if the company that originally offered to donate the chicks could find someone else to provide them. They found a tractor supply company in Flemmington, N.J., who were able to provide over two dozen baby chickens for the egg hunt. It turned out to be an important learning experience for his students, according to Mozes.
The chickens, once again, were a main attraction, along with the other animals that students were swarming to hold at the Bronc Petting Zoo area.
With all the activities at the egg hunt, Thompson did not only walk away with the grand prize from this campus tradition, but she experienced the essence of being a part of the Rider community, despite a difficult start to her college career.
Thompson revealed that, although she has faced challenges at college that she did not anticipate, meeting her friends and attending inclusive, campus-wide events have made it worthwhile.
“My experience at Rider has been rough, especially in the fall, but once I found people I can hang out with and share my different interests with [I was happy],” she said. “The different events on campus helps expose me to what the school has to offer.”
Published in the 04/24/19 edition.