Conant helicopter egg drop wows young crowd

 
 
Updated 4/14/2019 10:21 AM
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  • Easter eggs are dropped from a helicopter onto the Conant High School football field before an egg hunt Saturday.

      Easter eggs are dropped from a helicopter onto the Conant High School football field before an egg hunt Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • About 300 kids scooped up roughly 2,000 eggs on Saturday at Conant.

      About 300 kids scooped up roughly 2,000 eggs on Saturday at Conant. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Jack Lorber, 4, of Schaumburg greets the Easter bunny Saturday at Conant High School.

      Jack Lorber, 4, of Schaumburg greets the Easter bunny Saturday at Conant High School. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Harper Koopman, 1, of St. Charles and her mom, Katie, await the Easter egg drop from a helicopter at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates Saturday. Katie Koopman is a Conant teacher.

      Harper Koopman, 1, of St. Charles and her mom, Katie, await the Easter egg drop from a helicopter at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates Saturday. Katie Koopman is a Conant teacher. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Children rush to collect Easter eggs dropped from a helicopter during an egg hunt at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates Saturday.

      Children rush to collect Easter eggs dropped from a helicopter during an egg hunt at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Yui Hori, 4, of Schaumburg participates in an Easter egg hunt at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates Saturday. The eggs were dropped from a helicopter to start the event.

      Yui Hori, 4, of Schaumburg participates in an Easter egg hunt at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates Saturday. The eggs were dropped from a helicopter to start the event. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

How to make hundreds of children giddy with excitement? Shower more than 2,000 colored plastic eggs from a helicopter onto a football field and just watch the ensuing frenzy. That was the scene at Conant High School Saturday morning during its first Helicopter Egg Drop.

Within minutes of the last egg dropping to the ground, roughly 300 children rushed the field with baskets scooping up about seven eggs each in seemingly organized chaos.

"All the colorful rainbows were falling from the sky," said Alarese Gaden, 8, of Mount Prospect, of watching the eggs being sprinkled onto the field from the helicopter. She said she felt "happy" with her treasured loot bearing candy within and beamed at the prospect of devouring cupcakes in the school's cafeteria afterward.

Parents paid $5 per child, ages 9 and younger, to participate in the egg drop. It included one raffle ticket for prize baskets and a coupon for a free custard from Culvers in Schaumburg.

The event was part of the Hoffman Estates school's Cupcakes for a Cause and Bunny Eggstravaganza benefiting Special Olympics, the Northwest Special Recreation Association and Conant's Cougars in Need program. The Bunny Eggstravaganza included kids crafts, games, raffles, balloon sculptor, Frisbee toss and a visit with Peter Cotton Tail. Attendees could buy cupcakes for $2 each or $20 for a dozen.

In the last seven years, Cupcakes for a Cause has raised $30,000 for Special Olympics, said Jeff Stewart, Conant social studies teacher who orchestrated the egg drop.

Stewart said he got the idea for the egg drop after participating in a similar event with his kids in Evanston where marshmallows were dropped from a helicopter.

"The point is to create a community event ... it was very successful," Stewart said. "It looked like all the kids were having a good time."

Watching a helicopter up close was the best part of the attraction for some and several parents were impressed with the event's organization.

"There were plenty of eggs for everyone," said Jennifer Lorber, of Schaumburg. "Most important, there were all happy children at the end."

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