Date: March 24, 2002
Place: St. Elizabeth Seton Parish Hall, Sun City, Arizona
On Palm Sunday, Arizonans had a rare opportunity to expand their cultural horizons by learning about the Easter egg decorating traditions practiced in Central and Eastern Europe by Lithuanians, Poles and Ukrainians. This was the first such multi-national event hosted by the Lithuanian-American Community of Arizona. It was organized by Aldona Vaitkus. The event was opened by the pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, Rev. Franklin Bartel, who recounted several beautiful legends about how Easter egg decorating tradition started. Rev. Bartel also displayed his own treasured Easter egg collection for everyone to enjoy.
Each decorating demonstrator had their own tables with 6-7 seats for spectators/students and were asked to demonstrate a distinctly different decorating method. They also brought examples of decorated Easter eggs. The demonstration tables formed a U-shaped space that was open to the public entrance. Demonstrating Lithuanian decorating methods were Ona Adomaitis, Nancy Aleksa, Ilona Budinavicius, Milda Kvedaras, and Antonija Petrulis. Demonstrating Polish decorating methods were Halina and Sylvia Kosinski, and Helen Juszynski. Christine Boyko demonstrated Ukrainian decoration.
In addition to the demonstrations, there were beautiful displays of decorated Easter eggs from a number of private collections. The Lithuanian display was organized by Gilanda Matonis. The Polish display, which included Easter eggs, dolls, cards, and much more, was organized by Irena Zaleski. Irena was there to explain the Polish Easter traditions associated with each item on display. The Ukrainian Easter egg collection was displayed by Christine Boyko.
The event was attended by about 90 guests, many of whom decided to try their own hand at decorating Easter eggs. Eggs for decorating were available at no cost. Coffee, punch, and delicious snacks prepared by Aldona Gencius were available for purchase. Mary Jane Gallagher helped to publicize this event in the Sun City area and her daughter Mary Lee Putman helped at the snack bar.