COVENTRY, Ohio - Roughly 2,000 people came to Coventry High School's football field for an Easter egg hunt, but left with far more than just candy.
Some 55,000 eggs covered the field as children of all ages came to feel the excitement of Easter with an egg hunt around 11 a.m. Saturday. But the morning was about far more than candy-filled plastic eggs.
Cornerstone Church in Coventry has a mission: to bring the community together to find a fulfilling future. Family pastor Gordon Hayberg said it's the main they partnered with the school for the egg hunt.
"We wanted to make it a true community event. Being inside of a church building makes it a 'church thing.' People think there's so much religious stuff going on here," Hayberg explained. "We aren't religious. We love God and we have a relationship with him. By moving it here, it tears down walls and brings people close. We got to share Christ with nearly 2,000 people this time."
That was exactly the goal: share God's love by bringing a community together.
"We did just that," Hayberg said.
Not only did candy fill the eggs, but tickets, to be redeemed for other prizes at the field, and dinner coupons, another way for families to spend time together. A free lunch was also served.
"Because I work with so many amazing volunteers, I was able to go down and collect eggs with my 1-year-old daughter....I could be their father at an event I was in charge of because of amazing volunteers," said Hayberg.
Bringing the community together was especially important as Coventry schools have a levy on the upcoming May ballot.
"We have some decisions to make. Whether pro or con, I believe in a fulfilling future. In order for us to have that fulfilling future as our mission from Cornerstone says, we have to have new schools for our children."
Some in the area have said the people of the Coventry community "may never come together" because of the levy being turned down.
"I believe people care and are just misinformed. We want people to have conversations and have a new perspective," Hayberg explained.
Just as Cornerstone brought hope to the Coventry community during Easter, the hope is it will carry over into the hearts of residents who have a tough decision ahead for the children who attend the district.