Local lawns held treasures on Easter morning.
By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Families throughout the Crescenta Valley and in Glendale awoke on Easter morning to find that the Easter Bunny had made a stop at their house – courtesy of the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce (MVCOC).
Thousands of plastic Easter eggs dotted local lawns as part of the Chamber’s “Egg Your Home” fundraiser. People could order 30, 50, 70 or 100 candy-filled eggs that chamber members would scatter on designated lawns before 8 a.m. on Easter morning.
“Everyone was so thrilled,” said MVCOC executive director Mavil Aghadjanian. “I’m so happy we decided to do it.”
The idea was one of many Aghadjanian has found on various chamber of commerce social media and websites. After reading about it, she asked, “Why don’t we have this for our business?”
The chamber, like so many other businesses during the pandemic, has suffered financial hardships due to the cancellation of many of its fundraisers. The MVCOC coordinates the annual Food & Brew Fest and Oktoberfest – two major fundraisers for the nonprofit.
When she proposed the “Egg Your Home” fundraiser to the MVCOC board of directors, the idea was enthusiastically embraced.
“Members of the board volunteered to deliver the eggs,” Aghadjanian said, adding that her husband Emil even pitched in to scatter some eggs. Board members Kristi Cohen and Rodney Mardirosian and president Raffi Ashdjian helped Aghadjanian in the role of Easter Bunny, among them delivering to about 60 houses.
However, it was Aghadjanian who did the majority of the prep work for the fundraiser.
“Every day I filled about 250 eggs,” she said.
Originally she ordered 2,000 plastic eggs but as the orders for “Egg My Home” continued coming in she doubled that to 4,000. In the end she used about 3,000 eggs, filling each with candy that she painstakingly chose, making sure that the quality of the candy was on par with the fundraiser.
“I didn’t want the kids to be disappointed after opening their eggs,” she said.
One lucky household also received a special golden egg that held a $100 gift certificate to Alissa’s Ocean View Bar & Grill. That prize has yet to be claimed.
The Keeney kids were members of one family who were surprised on Easter morning.
“My kids were thrilled!” said Diana Keeney. “[It was the] best Easter ever. Normally the Bunny hides [eggs] around the living room so [the kids] searched there for a while and when they got desperate they looked outside and squealed with joy.”
Aghadjanian said that the event helped grandparents who wanted to keep trips outside their household to a minimum while staying connected with family members. There was also an opportunity to “gift” deliveries to families in need. She said she worked with members of the Glendale Police Officers Assn. who delivered donated, prepared gift baskets.
Aghadjanian said that, despite the work, she hopes the Chamber decides to hold the fundraiser again next year and hopes to engage the help of youth organizations to fill the thousands of eggs.
Aghadjanian said that the MVCOC wasn’t sure how successful the fundraiser would be.
“We set the bar pretty low,” she said of the money the Chamber hoped to raise. However, the response was so strong that, after the tallying was done, an estimated $2,700 was brought in.
“I’m so happy because it’s scary times,” Aghadjanian said. “We exceeded our goal and are thrilled.”
Those who want to recycle their eggs can contact the Chamber office at (818) 249-7171 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for drop-off or pickup. Plastic eggs can also be taken to the offices of CV Weekly, 3800 La Crescenta Ave. #206 (at the northwest corner of Honolulu Avenue) in April. A collection box will be set up outside the office doors. The plastic eggs will be sanitized and stored by the Chamber for next Easter.