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The Annual NOSA Easter Egg Hunt: An Enjoyable Event for a Deserving Audience

On Sunday April 2nd the UMSL National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) hosted an Annual Easter egg hunt for visually impaired children. The UMSL NOSA chapter was recently awarded the “Chapter of the Year” at the annual meeting. A great turnout resulted for this event that was hosted in combination with the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments.  Delta Gamma Family Support Services Program Director Debbie Chapuis is particularly appreciative of how beneficial this program is to these children. “The NOSA egg hunt is much more than candy-filled eggs or visits with the Easter Bunny. It serves as a reminder to families that, with a little creativity and some thoughtful adaptations, children with visual impairments can participate in fun holiday activities, too. Students’ warmth and enthusiasm adds to the fun of the event and helps to make it even more memorable for everyone involved. We are grateful for this partnership and hope that the impact the families make on NOSA students will be as positive and long-lasting as the impact they make on families at this wonderful annual event.”

NOSA officers Heather Jackson (’19)(who was a very active and popular Easter bunny), Lulette Fermil (’19), and Leslie Kinder(’19) along with many other organization volunteers were there helping the children enjoy a variety of games and activities highlighted, of course, by the Easter egg hunt.  According to Leslie Kinder the event was a great success, “We were incredibly lucky the weather gave us a perfect, sunny spring morning. Volunteers and egg-hunters alike were laughing and enjoying the chance to be outside. Several local vision impaired and special needs children gathered on the path along with their parents and siblings ready to scour the UMSL lawn for candy-filled Easter eggs. Beeping eggs helped guide those with vision impairments to the hiding spots.  After the hunt, the children enjoyed face painting, crafts, balloon animals, and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Everyone left happy and with full Easter baskets.”   Heather Jackson agreed.  “We've been co-sponsoring this event with the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments for a few years now and it's really important that we continue to do so in the future.  Most people don't think about how challenging it must be for a visually impaired child to participate in activities like these. With our Easter egg hunt, we use beeping eggs so the children are able to rely on their other senses to find them.  This year's turnout really exceeded our expectations and all of the kids had a wonderful time!”

Our awesome group of NOSA helpers (from left to right):  Natasha Chang (’20), Stevi Short (’20), Sydni Davis (’20), Lauren Ward (‘20), Leslie Kinder (’19), the Easter Bunny (Heather Jackson) (’19), Amanda Adkisson (’20), Heather Stern (’20), Kanesha McBee (’17), and Lulette Fermil (’19)

The turnout of children for this event was quite large. 

Kanesha McBee (’17), helping at her fourth consecutive NOSA event with Debbie Chapuis, Family Support Services Program Director for the Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairment.

Leslie Kinder (’19) up close and personal with the Easter Bunny (Heather Jackson) (’19)

The welcoming committee for the many children and their families who came to this event. From left to right: Heather Stern (’20), Stevi Short (’20), Lauren Ward (’20), and Leslie Kinder (’19).

Helping with face painting and balloon animals for the children were Amanda Adkisson (’20) and Lulette Fermil (’19).

One of the many happy children who enjoyed this event (photo published with permission)


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