From small backyard event to 20,000 Easter eggs: The story of the Derrico family hunt

The Derrico family Easter egg hunt is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Douglass Park. More than 22,000 Easter eggs will be spread throughout the park. CONTRIBUTED

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The Derrico family Easter egg hunt is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Douglass Park. More than 22,000 Easter eggs will be spread throughout the park. CONTRIBUTED

Seeing the need for a fun, safe event for children to enjoy more than 20 years ago, the Derrico family started an Easter egg hunt in the backyard of their Middletown home.

As the event became popular and outgrew the Derrico’s backyard, the family has reached out to local organizations and churches to help. It moved to Douglass Park with 400 to 600 participating, said Crystal Ford Bingle, coordinator of service learning and volunteerism at Miami University Middletown.

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This year’s event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Douglass Park and is being organized by the English Language Center at MUM and the regional campus’ office of Community Engagement, which are partnering with the Derrico family.

Bingle said the annual hunt is to honor the family tradition of Walter and Roberta Derrico, and Walter’s sisters, Dora Derrico Bronston and Patty Derrico. The family members will be honored at the event and will be wearing red ambassador sashes, Bingle said.

She said this year’s event will feature more than 22,000 candy-filled eggs as well as free food and a community fair with games and activity and information booths for children and families. Ready Teddy will be at the Middletown Community Foundation’s booth to promote reading and literacy for young people. Bingle said there will be many raffle baskets for children.

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Bingle said Bronston had reached out to the campus several years ago seeking volunteers to help with the event and the ELC became involved. Also helping with the coordination with the event is Jerry Martin, the ELC’s executive director, and ELC specialist Jessica Ashe.

“They’re doing all the legwork so they can enjoy the event this year,” Bingle said. “They’re phenomenal. They just came back from Gatlinburg, Tenn., where they did an alternative spring break helping to rebuild houses after the November 2016 fires.”


The Derrico family Easter egg hunt is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Douglass Park. More than 22,000 Easter eggs will be spread throughout the park. CONTRIBUTED