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story.lead_photo.caption Collecting: Gracelyn Fennell, 7, collects Easter Egg while attending the HealthWorks Fitness Centers’ underwater Easter egg hunt on Saturday. Terrance Armstard/News-Times

Healthworks Fitness Center hosted its first underwater Easter egg hunt in the midst of severe storm warnings.

Aquatics Director Farrin Cain said that the goal is to make this an annual event that grows each year. The event included 2,500 plastic eggs spread over two pools for kids in different age groups to collect along with an opportunity to take pictures with the Easter Bunny.

Kaneshia Traylor brought her daughter and nephew to the event, which was free to both members and non-members of HFC.

“I came so the kids can meet the Easter Bunny,” Traylor said.

While Cain wasn’t sure how many people to expect, over a dozens attended the event.

Cle Davis came with her 7-year-old daughter Somaya to take pictures with the Easter Bunny.

Davis said the storms kept her and her daughter from getting into the pools. “It’s thundering and lightning and too cold,” Davis said.

“I came to take pictures with the Easter Bunny,” she continued.

The weather didn’t keep Trisha Fennell from letting her daughter swim. She said she saw the event on Facebook and decided to come out.

“I saw it on Facebook and we come here a pretty good bit,” Fennell said.

The goal of the event is to bring people into the aquatics facility, Cain said, and bring awareness of the programs available there. The idea came from seeing a similar event at one of the meets the HFC swim team went to.

Cain said there are people in the community who don’t know how to swim. Besides the safety aspect, Cain said there’s health aspects to being able to swim as well. He said it’s hard to put a factor on what it benefits because it can benefit everything, but by being active people can have a longer and more productive life.

“The importance of knowing how to swim is so valuable,” Cain said. “Especially after this bad storm we just had with the flooding everywhere. You never know when you’re in a situation where you need to know at least how to save yourself by being able to swim. For people who can’t swim, it would give them the opportunity to enjoy life when they go to the lake or fishing, they don’t have to worry about drowning. They can get themselves out of a situation that’s an emergency.”

Michael Shine may be reached at 870-862-6611 or Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook @MichaelAZShine for updates on Union County school news.

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