Editorial: Ripon Jaycees Initiative provides local youngsters with eggs-actly what they need

RIPON JAYCEES INITIATIVE leader Brian Reilly, left, and Adam Henke show a non-traditional way to hunt for an Easter egg. submitted photo

For years, decades even, Ripon youngsters have squealed with delight as they’ve run around Barlow Park or the Ripon Armory, searching for chocolate eggs, jelly beans and even special eggs containing numbers that could be redeemed for toys and even bikes.

The tradition of the annual Easter egg hunt in Ripon for many years was the responsibility of the local Jaycees, which disbanded about a decade ago.

That’s too bad.

Jaycees in Ripon have a proud history of serving others while making friends, locally and throughout the state, through networking, fellowship and community activities such as a haunted house, sandbox fills and the Easter egg hunt.

The United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) gives young people between the ages of 18 and 40 the tools they need to build the bridges of success for themselves in the areas of business development, organizational skills, individual training and community service.

Those values aren’t lost on Brian Reilly. The Ripon resident is stirring the embers of the former Jaycees by re-creating the annual Easter egg hunt, which will be Saturday on the Village Green in downtown Ripon. (In case of rain, it will be moved to the Silver Creek Room in the Ripon Public Library.) ...

he’s bringing back the Jaycees through the Ripon Jaycees Initiative, a group of about 10 people who hope within the next month or two to grow its numbers to at least 20 — the minimum needed to establish a new chapter.

The group has been meeting informally since last October.

Saturday’s Easter egg hunt will mark its first activity and first attempt to, as Reilly said, “engage the community.”...

The hunt will be just the first event leading to what Reilly sees as a Jaycees resurgence that could result in what he describes as more ambitious ideas. ... — Tim Lyke

Read the entire editorial in the April 1, 2010 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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