- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - It was raining eggs at a central Nebraska church this Easter weekend.

Grace Fellowship Church’s annual Easter egg hunt Saturday didn’t include the Easter bunny. But it did include a helicopter dropping 3,000 candy-filled eggs from 50 to 100 feet up in the air on the Kearney church’s lawn, the Kearney Hub reported (http://bit.ly/1RspfmH ).

The egg drop was in addition to the 22,000 eggs already hidden on the ground.

The Rev. Mitch Ivey said the entire congregation pitched in to help make the event happen, from filling 25,000 plastic eggs with candy to having a local dentist cover the cost of the helicopter.

The event was broken down into two age groups, and each group got their own egg drop from the helicopter. Children were kept off the lawn while the eggs were dropped to avoid injury.

The egg drop and hunt went off without a hitch, church secretary Katie Adams said.

“We had about 3,000 bodies here for it,” she said. Most of those were children and their parents.

The event also included inflatable bounce houses and about 1,000 prizes for kids.

The Easter event cost about $5,000 to put on, Ivey said. It’s worth the cost, he said, because the church congregation views the hunt as a mission-centered event.

“Our goal is to provide a valid expression of the church,” he said. “We want people to feel valued and accepted. We want to love our community and help them to experience God’s love in a way they might not have experienced.”

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Information from: Kearney Hub, http://www.kearneyhub.com/

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