Local Business Owner Saves UM’s Easter Eggstravaganza, Invites Others to Help

March 24, 2015

MISSOULA – The Easter Bunny almost hopped on by the University of Montana this year, but thanks to local business owner Michael Burks, western Montana children will once again have the chance to scoop up thousands of colorful eggs and candy during the annual Easter Eggstravagaza on Satruday, April 4, on UM’s Oval. 

In 2014, the University handed the event over to a new organizer and in doing so promised to make the Oval available for future events and to lend its expertise and staff to execute the event. Due to time and logical issues, the 2015 event nearly was canceled until Burks and his Garden of Read’n team stepped up as the organizer and underwriter just a mere two weeks out. 

“This is really all about the kids,” Burks said. “When we heard the Easter Eggstravaganza may not happen, we stepped up because we wanted to ensure the community would not miss out on this cherished event.”

As the presenting sponsor for the event, Garden of Read’n will donate 20,000 eggs filled with candy and prizes. 

Children ages 9 and under are invited to bring their baskets and search for the  thousands of eggs during western Montana’s largest egg hunt, which gets underway when the Main Hall bell tolls 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. 

“Missoula has so much to offer young families and children,” Burks said. “We hope businesses that offer many of those fun activities or beloved treats will rally in the 11th hour and join us in supporting the event.” 

Businesses or individuals interested in making in-kind donations, in the form of prizes or certificates, are encouraged to call Garden of Read’n Manager Kiomi Glenn at 406-728-3032 or email kiomi@gardenofreadn.com. Each year, the top prize in each age-section is a certificate for a bicycle. Organizers are looking for an individual or businesses to either donate or underwrite the cost of purchasing a tricycle, and three age-group specific bicycles.  

There will be separate age-group sections for 0-2, 3, 4-5, 6-7 and 8-9. There also will be special certificates in each section for larger prizes, such as UM summer camps and tickets to Missoula Maulers games.

Participants are encouraged to bike, bus, carpool or walk to campus. The Mountain Line’s Saturday route schedules can be found online at http://www.mountainline.com/maps-schedules/route-schedules/

The Missoula Easter Eggstravaganza is presented and organized by the Garden of Read’n with help from UM’s University Relations. Other sponsors include the Missoula Maulers, Maulers Hockey Central, Stitches, Big Sky Specialized Carriers, Inc., and Fuel Fitness and Nutrition, Inc. and Missoula Federal Credit Union.

Volunteers from the community and UM Advocates will help spread candy and eggs across the Oval the morning of the hunt. 

For more information call Glenn at 406-728-3032 or email kiomi@gardenofreadn.com.

Contact: Michael Burks, Easter Eggstravagaza organizer, 406-728-3032, michael@gardenofreadn.com; Cary Shimek, communication manager, UM’s University Relations, 406-243-5914, cary.shimek@umontana.edu.