By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
The Easter Bunny poses with members of the IOU Club while the children are busy collecting goodies.

The IOU Club held its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 9 at Belvidere Park. They offered three circles for the children to collect their candies, one circle for ages 3 and under, one for kids aged 4 through 6, and a third circle for children aged 7 to 9.

Club members were in the park early to scatter the goodies for the kids to gather. Their organized efforts saw the field prepared and ready for families with over half an hour to spare. The bags that held the candies and such were tucked into large garbage bags and collected in the back of a pickup truck so the field looked inviting and pristine when the parents arrived with their children. The kids did have to bring their own Easter baskets or bags to carry their haul of goodies home.

Parents were allowed to help in the 3 and under circle, the other children were deemed old enough to enter the circle to hunt for goodies on their own. The Easter Bunny posed for pictures with everyone who wanted a photo. He even posed when eager parents who brought their unwilling children to pose with him. (Even amusement parks see kids who love the characters but are intimidated and frightened when the characters are near.) The Easter Bunny was feeling feisty and posed dramatically or comically at any opportunity when a camera was pointed in his direction. Most of the children were delighted to see him and ran to greet him with cries of joy and hugs.

“The IOU Club is a very giving group,” said President Allen Sisson. “We are dedicated to helping kids and people in need. We are here to support the community and we are always looking for ways to do something for the kids that will put a smile on their faces

“The IOU Club is a group of gentlemen and business executives who enjoy getting together once a week to help the kids. There are about 77 members, we lost a couple this year. The group was founded 99 years ago in 1923. We hold events for the kids throughout the year. We have the annual Easter Egg Hunt, the Halloween Parade, and a Christmas Party for school kids.

“The past couple of years have been tough as we were unable to hold some of these events due to the COVID-19 shut-down so we decided to donate money to the police department, the fire department, and the Salvation Army to support everything they were doing for the kids and buying presents for them.

“We hope to bring back our indoor events for the kids this year but that is a decision that the school district will have to make.”

Are they going to do something special to celebrate their 100th anniversary next year?

“We have yet to discuss the possibility and come up with ideas. It’s too soon to even start thinking about that.”

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