At least three Cortez youth were in for a runny surprise Saturday at City Park where the Cortez Rotary Club, as it does every year, organized a mass Easter egg hunt for children of all ages.
Kathy Ronquillo brought her three grandchildren to the event. They made a bounteous haul, gathering 57 pastel-colored eggs between them, in addition to six of the plastic variety.
But after returning home, things soon got messy. Sixteen of the 57 eggs were completely uncooked.
"Totally raw," Ronquillo said. "We tried to peel (one of the eggs), and it busted open like we'd just taken any old egg from the fridge to fry it in a pan!"
She saw it as no laughing matter, but instead a safety hazard.
"I was concerned because you can get salmonella. The kids don't know any better. They might eat it, or get the yolk all over them," she said. "This is nothing to mess around with."
Ronquillo estimated there were about 200 children present and wondered if others had experienced the same shock.
Jennifer Gleason was also at the hunt on Saturday. Her son didn't discover any uncooked eggs, although he had only taken three.
"He went for more of the plastic kind," she said.
Bob Bragg, a Rotary Club member, said that 3,000 real eggs and 1,000 plastic were placed around the park. They were all colored by residents and staff of local nursing homes but were cooked by the food service at Southwest Memorial Hospital. Bragg said the hospital had taken responsibility for the cooking part in previous years because it has the facilities to boil large batches at once.
"With something as big as this, you can hardly do a dozen at a time," he said.
Apparently a few dozen got lost in the shuffle, or snuck in some other way.