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An egg-cellent 'Chop Drop' - Hunt for 60,000 eggs and support the troops

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A helicopter drops a load of plastic eggs at the Chop Drop Easter Egg Hunt in 2012.
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Easter-egg hunts don't get much bigger than this.

On April 20, Hope Summit Christian Church of Rochester will be hosting "Chop Drop 2013" at Mayo High School in an effort to raise funds and collect materials for Operation: Hometown Gratitude (OHG).

"We're going to be dropping around 60,000 plastic eggs from a helicopter with an egg hunt to follow," said Mandy Slater, the director of Summit Kids at the church. "We're doing this to raise awareness, funds, and collect donations for Operation: Hometown Gratitude, a program out of Mayo High School that sends care packages to U.S. soldiers stationed overseas."

Aside from the helicopter egg-drop, the event will also feature local vendors and activities.

"This is an event with a lot of community involvement," Slater said. "There will be local businesses selling food and other items along with other different family activities like a petting zoo and face painting."

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"There will also be U.S. troops, and mothers of troops, on stage providing testimonials about the positive impact the care packages have," she said.

The event begins with an opening ceremony, which will feature U.S. troops, the National Anthem, and the Presentation of Colors. This is Hope Summit's and OHG's second year hosting Chop Drop.

"The first year was great," Slater said. "We had over 5,000 people attend, of which 3,000 were kids. It was well-received by the community."

Gary Komanieki, faculty advisor for OHG, explained how events like these contribute to the organization's success.

"Last year was pretty amazing," Komanieki said. "We got enough items to keep us supplied for about a month, and the exposure was great."

OHG sent its first care package in December 2005. Since then, the organization has sent more than 14,000 care packages to U.S. troops all over the world.

"Every care package is a little different," Komanieki said. "Basically, we just try to stuff it with as many goodies as we can, like reading material, high-energy snacks, jerky, cookies, and toiletries."

Hope Summit considers Chop Drop to be a powerful way to serve the local community, says Slater.

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"A part of our vision is to have influence with those outside the church, so this is completely in line with that. It's all about helping," she said.

Laura Kramer, associate director of Summit Kids, shares similar beliefs.

"It's important for us to be involved because an event like this teaches people to serve one another and love one another," she said. "It goes without saying that troops stationed in the U.S. and all over the world do so much for us, and while this is just a tiny, little thing to help them out, small efforts like this one can add up to a lot."

Slater recommends attendees stay for a special performance between egg drops.

"You'll definitely want to stay for the kids' band that's performing," she said. "They'll be performing a song by Adele and a few others. It's through Pure Rock Studios."

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"Chop Drop 2013" will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on April 20. Admission is free. To preregister a child for the egg drop or for more information, visit www.hopesummitchurch.com/chop-drop.

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