Southside offers Easter egg hunt for blind children - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Southside offers Easter egg hunt for blind children

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HENRY COUNTY, VA -

For elementary school students Angeli and Kevin it doesn't get much better than a good old fashioned Easter egg hunt.

Although this hunt is a little different than the one in your backyard.

Angeli and Kevin are blind, and search for the eggs with a little help from a beeper.

It's a simple idea that became a reality thanks to Henry County Schools teacher Lori Floyd.

"It's a personal event for me to know that these children can go out and do an ordinary event which we're turning into an extraordinary event with the beeping eggs," said Floyd, who is a teacher for the blind and visually impaired. "(It's great) for them to participate in something all children do."

But before Floyd could make this an annual event she needed a little help from an unexpected place.

"I never had heard of it. It kind of caught me off guard," said Bill O'Dell, a bomb technician with the Virginia State Police.

Last year Floyd contacted O'Dell about helping her build custom Easter eggs for the hunt.

By connecting a battery, a switch, and a beeper inside a plastic egg, O'Dell was able to make the custom eggs a reality

It was a simple gesture that went a long way.

"Listening to the individual stories from the parents and grandparents and from Ms. Floyd about the obstacles (these kids) have overcome. That's when it kind of set in what it was really doing," O'Dell said.

As part of the now 2nd annual Southside Audible Easter Egg Hunt, 18 kids will search for the unique eggs.

Vision teachers from Roanoke and Danville will also be there to see about possibly expanding the search to other parts of Central and Southwest Virginia.

Floyd said every year she gets just as excited as the kids.

"It's absolutely wonderful," she said. "The children don't get the chance to do these ordinary daily events and get to meet each other. So it's a wonderful opportunity for them to be able to do that."

The hunt takes place Saturday afternoon from three to five at the Smith River Sports Complex.