Vandalism victim retaliates with Easter acts of kindness

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Lara Crighton

A random act of mischief resulted in deliberate acts of kindness last weekend when one local woman decided to turn her emotional energy from anger to joy.

Lara Crighton was unhappy when she discovered her house had been egged in February. In fact, she believes her furious text and Facebook messages floated through social media algorithms and conspired against her.

“All the angry messages typed into my phone led inevitably to a pop-up ad from a friend’s church group down south,” she said. “The fundraiser was called ‘Egg Your House.’”

Through this slightly creepy invasion of her social media feed, Crighton found the roots of redemption for her own egging aggravation.

Her idea was to brighten Easter for local families by becoming a local Easter Bunny. In exchange for a donation, Crighton would organize an effort to hide eggs at homes on Saturday night.

“I thought I’d get maybe five houses. We ended up with 45 houses and distributed 85 dozen eggs,” she said. “We ended up with four teams of people doing the distributing.”

The more than 1,000 eggs were all plastic and their insides were stuffed with goodies.

“We carefully calibrated the mix of toys and candy so everyone received a mix,” she said.

For $20 customers received a dozen eggs. Each additional dozen eggs left at the same address cost an additional $10. The largest order was for four dozen, and the most common order was two dozen.

The most unique request was for a ‘dog only egging.’ One resident received eggs stuffed only with dog treats.

“I’m not sure how that went,” she said. “I don’t know whether they ended up with dog treats or empty eggs and extra squirrel droppings.”

Crighton said the event went smoothly, but there were a couple of incidents. In a familiar Glendive mixup, the group had dutifully hidden dozens of eggs at an address on Juniper Avenue in Forest Park only to later realize they were purchased for a home on Juniper Avenue in Hillcrest.

“They went back and had to find where they’d hidden all the eggs. Fortunately the residents at the Forest Park home didn’t seem any the wiser as a team of kids twice rampaged through their yard,” she said.

In another minor mishap, Crighton said a team of boys took their ninja skills too far. The homeowner contacted her on Easter to ask for help because they had only been able to find two of their eggs.

“Next year we’ll have to be more specific: ‘you’re not hiding these from your friends, you are hiding them for toddlers,’” she said.

The eggs netted about $700 for a group of high school drama kids – including her son David – who are planning a Broadway trip to New York City.

“We started about 9 p.m. and the last team finished about 1 a.m.,” she said. “The kids really had fun. It was cold, but they had fun and there was lots of laughing.”

Crighton said she already has ideas to upgrade the experience for next year.

Kip Braden donated money that allowed the group to surprise some local households that might have needed some extra help to make the holiday a success. Crighton said they will try to do more of that next year.

She also plans to work with Reynolds and Albertsons to plan before the next Easter season.

The other thing she’ll need for next year is a beneficiary for the fundraiser, so any group with ample supply of egg stuffing fingers might want to contact her for consideration.

Crighton said while it took her a solid week to move from anger to a positive solution, it was all worth it and she looks forward to an even bigger event next year.

As for the original offending eggs from February, Crighton said there is still one uncleaned in a hard to reach place.

“Now it just makes me smile. It inspires me,” she said.

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