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HOPE Landing is preparing for two Easter-themed events in April, the biennial Easter play and the annual Easter Eggstravaganza, where volunteers are needed to help prepare.

On April 16, HOPE Landing children will perform in a play titled “The Resurrection,” based on the Biblical story of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, which the Easter holiday is based on.

Jenny Williams, HOPE Landing’s director of marketing and general admissions, said the event is a special one that the HOPE Landing children look forward to each year.

“It’s a big deal. I mean, these are kids who do not get chosen for the play at school and they’re not kids that are comfortable in a costume, so it’s a big deal for them to be able to participate in this and have a part,” Williams said.

The play will begin at 7 p.m. April 16 at the South Arkansas Arts Center. Artwork made by children from HOPE Landing will be raffled off in a silent auction, Williams said, to help fund raise for the organization.

“We like to say, what we say about our talent show, is that they’re not showing off their disabilities here, they’re showing their abilities,” Williams said.

Two days later, HOPE Landing children will get to celebrate the holiday with the Easter Bunny at the organization's annual Easter Eggstravaganza. The event is not open to the public and will only serve HOPE Landing children, but Williams said they do need volunteers to help prepare for the event.

Williams said there will be between 2,000 and 2,500 eggs scattered around the HOPE Landing complex at the Eggstravaganza. She said they need help to stuff all those eggs with candies and trinkets.

“It’s kind of one of those ‘takes a village’ things. We probably [have] had 20 groups that have filled the eggs,” Williams said. “From year to year, it’s different how many people it takes to do it.”

The Eggstravaganza has historically included activities like face-painting and games alongside the Easter egg hunt. A hot dog dinner is usually served to the HOPE Landing children and their families.

Williams said HOPE Landing is also seeking volunteers to face-paint, host games, hide eggs and serve dinner. Additionally, she said they are still looking for help acquiring the food for the event; Williams said they need about 200 hot dogs and their fixings, along with a side like chips and drinks for everyone.

“You should see the pictures from last year. They (the eggs) aren’t hidden, they’re everywhere,” Williams said, laughing. “There are thousands of eggs.”

While the Eggstravaganza is not open to the public, the play will be, and Williams encouraged those in the community to attend.

Other upcoming HOPE Landing events include their summer horse camps and talent show, which will take place in August.

To volunteer to help or for more information, contact HOPE Landing at 870-862-0500, hopelanding.com or facebook.com/hopelandinginc.

Caitlan Butler can be reached at 870-862-6611 or cbutler@eldoradonews.com.

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