SOMERS POINT — Thousands of multicolored plastic eggs rained from the sky Saturday morning as a helicopter hovered about 20 feet above a field next to Fusion Church, its rotors drowning out the screams of 1,000 children and music that was blaring from a truck.

The first of its kind held in southern New Jersey, the helicopter egg drop was intended by Fusion Church as a community outreach event, said Pastor Brendon Wilson. It seems to have worked. Most of the participants were nonmembers who had heard about the event through one of the church’s 400 members.

Luke, 6, and Lily Dworak, 8, of Galloway Township, were among those nonmembers who scooped up candy-filled plastic eggs that had been taped shut so as not to burst open on impact with the ground. Their mother, Sarah, said many of their family members are involved with Fusion Church, and she found the idea of a helicopter egg drop “something different.”

Guy and Elizabeth Zompa, parents of Zoey, 5, of Egg Harbor Township, learned about the egg drop from their daughter’s pre-kindergarten friends at Atlantic Christian school.

“It was cool,” Zoey said of the helicopter making two passes over the field, the first to drop miniature stuffed Chick-fil-A cows among the 3,000 eggs that had been strewn about the egg hunt area. Chick-fil-A helped sponsor the event, which was attended by its cow mascot, by providing miniature stuffed cows strapped to miniature parachutes, gift cards and sandwiches for volunteers.

Zompa’s goodie bag contained a lone green egg among all the more feminine shades. “I like pink and purple,” the pink-clad child explained of her selectivity in egg gathering.

Nicole Case, of Egg Harbor Township, said she learned about the egg drop from friends who are Fusion Church members. “I brought them so the kids could have a nice time,” she said of daughters, Hailey, 5, and Carly, who will be 2 next month.

Both girls were dressed in shades of purple and were joining their mother for breakfast at a restaurant after the egg hunt.

“We want to reach the community any way we can,” said Artie Angelini, of Egg Harbor Township, a member of the church’s worship team. “The response was great.”

“Why a helicopter?” asked Wilson, who had put on such an event previously in Phoenix. “Because it’s something different, No. 1; because it’s fun for kids, No. 2; and No. 3, because it’s a great outreach event for the church.”

Wilson, who arrived 20 months ago at New Covenant Community Church, which changed its name last year to Fusion Church, has expanded the nondenominational church’s congregation from 85 to more than 400.

“I like the traditional Easter egg hunt,” Wilson said, “and I thought how cool it would be to do it with a helicopter.”

Contact Cindy Nevitt:

609-463-6719

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.