2012 Easter Egg Presentation to Community Organizations

On May 6th First Presbyterian celebrated the conclusion of another year of successful Easter Egg production by inviting members of the community to join us at Worship Service.   After remarks by Faye Hodges and the reading of her annual egg poems by Ellen Watts, presentations totaling $8,750 were made to the following:

Kernersville Police Department’s Day Camp for Kids
Kernersville Fire Department’s Safety Seat Program 
Crisis Control      
Next Step Ministries Battered Women’s Shelter  
Local Schools in Gift Cards for Student Needs  
Kernersville Library for Children’s Books  
First Presbyterian Church Scholarship Fund

The following are excerpts from Faye’s remarks.

“As I look back over our 22nd year of making Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter and Chocolate Covered Coconut Easter Eggs, I can see that GOD was truly there with us every day.  At the beginning I knew that this was going to be a challenging year.  I also knew that He was not about to let us fail with such a wonderful project.

First of all, we knew our kitchen crew would be different.  Gil Sheets had been one of our egg scoopers for many years.   He passed away last year, and I knew that no one could ever fill his shoes.   Gil was so special.  Everyone loved Gil and I couldn't imagine eggs without him.  And there probably wasn’t a day that went by without someone telling a “Gil Story”.  There was also another person from the kitchen crew who was not going to be able to help this year.

First Nick Nitkin stepped in to help scoop on his days off from work.   And then one day when I was working in the kitchen lining trays with paper, washing dishes, trying to help do whatever was needed, Roger White came in looking for a way to help.  From then on, he helped in the kitchen.

That was the beginning of GOD showing me it was going to be okay -- HE was there!

For years Deryel Clark helped the wrappers by picking up their boxes of wrapped eggs.   When the little ladies would yell DERYEL he was always there.  He truly had them spoiled.  But I knew Deryel was having health issues and would not be able to do that this year.  Then, one Sunday before eggs started, Spence Sharp approached me to say he had retired from his job and would be able to help with eggs.   Perfect spot for him was to take Deryel’s place, and it worked just fine.

GOD was there again!

Wendell Watson's job was to cut the foil paper that we used to wrap the eggs.   But he had to have knee surgery and was not able to be there for much longer than we had expected.  This turned out to be the perfect job for Deryel since he could sit down to do it.   When Wendell returned, the two of them worked together cutting paper.  It was great. -- and I feel their friendship grew also.

GOD was there again!

In the beginning we were a little short of wrappers.  So some of us came back in the afternoon in order to stay on schedule for the next day.   One day, Linda Starkey asked if it would be alright for four of her quilting partners to help wrap eggs on Mondays.  They met each Monday to quilt together, and decided they would give that up for eight weeks to help wrap eggs.   After the first Monday, they decided they wanted to come help every day.   This made a huge difference and we seldom had to wrap any more in the afternoons.

GOD was there again!

Each day we stopped for devotions, share time, and prayer.   Many of our egg makers volunteered to give a devotional.   If no one volunteered, I could always count on Amy, Clark or George to give the devotional.  This was a very special time of our day.  Not only for the spiritual guidance we received, but it was a time when we could pray for others and also thank God for overseeing this project.

GOD was there again!

Once again we were faced with another situation.   Konnie Conrad has been delivering most of our eggs for several years, and does a great job of taking care of customer’s needs. When she found out she had to have surgery, we all pitched to make deliveries until Konnie was able to return.

GOD was there again!

We thank God for seeing all our people through their illnesses. All of these situations would have worked out some way, but never as quickly and smoothly as they did had God not been there leading us.

We also have a miracle story.  George Murray has been great to help melt chocolate for several years. This, like all jobs with this project, is not easy at times.   George had invited two of his friends to come help.   While I spoke to them the first week, I didn't take the time to have a conversation and to get to know these two men.  I gave a lot of thought about this over the weekend and had decided I was going to try to do better getting to know our new people even if I had to skip doing something else.

The next week, one of the friends did not come back but Randall did.  As soon as I saw him come in and start melting chocolate, I went over, said good morning and asked him how he was doing.  He gave me the biggest smile and said, “I’m fine.  Today is my one year anniversary.”

Of course, I thought it was a wedding anniversary, but he continued, “It’s been one year today that I’ve been clear of a cancerous brain tumor.   I had a tumor about the size of a softball.  I was not expected to live.  And, if I did live, I was not expected to be able to walk, talk or anything else.”

Boy was GOD truly there at that moment.  He held me up and made me so ashamed.  I was so selfish trying to make sure everything would go just right that I had lost sight of our real ministry in this project.

I can assure you after that moment I had a conversation with Randall every day – not because I needed to but because I wanted to.  Randall now comes to the paint class that is held each Tuesday and is taught by Donna Myers.

GOD was there again!

Then there was Chief Gamble.   I had met him several times but really didn't get to know him until he came to help with eggs.   He decided he'd like to help with chocolate.   He came in dressed in full uniform which included a white shirt.   He would not even wear an apron.  I thought this is going to be Really Good.

He later told me that one day he left feeling good about himself that another day had passed with no chocolate on his shirt.  But when he got outside he happened to look down and discovered he had chocolate all over his pants and shoes.

While he was there those days, I talked to him and saw the wonderful person that he is.   Before we finished the last day he was there, I thanked God for bringing Chief Gamble to First Presbyterian.

GOD was there again!

We made 87,100 Easter Eggs this year.  We had a wonderful group of people who came each day.  Everyone came in with a smile on their face and ready to make a difference.   We never knew if 20 or 55 people would show up to work.  I did count 55 there one day and it was overwhelming.

We could not have done it without the dedication of our regular people, and it was even easier with all our new people who chose to give up their time to help us make a difference in our community and church.

I must say a special thanks to Clark, Amy and Jane for adjusting their schedules on so many days to help in any way we needed them. 

I would also like to recognize those representatives of the community groups we support who came to help.  In addition to Chief Gamble there were Kathy Hoffner from Crisis Control; Lisa May, Social worker at our local schools; Becky Carter-Atcher, Principal of Kernersville Elementary School; Keith from Nationwide Insurance; and William and Stephanie from Kernersville Public Library.  I think our organizational representatives came to help, not only to represent our community, but to say thank you to everyone involved in this project.

Picture left to right:  Terri Sheets, Kernersville Public Library; Kathy Hoffner, Crisis Control;
Chief Walt Summerville, Kernersville Fire Department; Chief Kenneth Gamble,
Kernersville Police Department; Becky Carter-Atcher, Principal of Kernersville Elementary School;
Lynn Garms, Next Step Ministries; and Ellen Watts, First Presbyterian Scholarship Fund.


And a great big thanks to Edna Idol from Seafood Shack in Walkertown.  Edna not only came in on her days off to help, but she was responsible for Seafood Shack selling over 1,500 dozen eggs – that add up to 18,000 eggs.

Time doesn’t permit me to name all the people who came to help in one way or another but let me assure you that your presence was noted and very much appreciated.

Above all, thank you GOD being there each day.”

Ellen’s poems can be read by visiting the Easter Eggs page under Ministries.

The 2012 Egg Makers