It was a great time for many children and a very busy day for the Easter Bunny.
On April 7, Springfield Township and the village of Lakemore were under snow and it placed doubt in the young hearts of the children that were anticipating the annual community Easter Egg Hunts the following day. But the long-eared, cotton tailed bunny was not going to let those kids be disappointed. He hopped his way through the snow all night to get to the egg hunts. On Saturday morning, as the snow melted under blue skies and bright sunshine, the bunny arrived.
Being a little tired the hip-hopper arrived in style because of the kindness of the people at Thomas Limousine who picked him up and gave him a ride to Schrop School.
As a police car made its way toward the school, with lights and siren, the kids looked up to see the shiny white limo behind the black and white cruiser. Once in the driveway, Community Policing Officer Dan Rafferty excitedly shouted to the kids, "The Easter Bunny is coming." The limo driver opened the door and the bunny hopped out happily waving to all.
The fun began as kids ages newborns to five years old gathered in the gymnasium to hunt the colorful eggs. For the younger group, the eggs were placed in small swimming pools so they had a good chance to gather a full basket of candy filled eggs. Inside those eggs, the little egg gathers might have also found a special ticket for a gift.
Next up was the 6 to 9 age group that gathered in the courtyard of the school where eggs were covering the ground. After a countdown, the kids took off sweeping the ground clean of any colorful filled eggs.
For ages 10 to 12, it was different as they had a balloon break in the gym. More than 1,800 balloons covered the floor and once released the kids stomped on the balloons and retrieved tickets for prizes.
Throughout the event, the Schrop Parent Group (PTG) and the Lakemore United Methodist Church had food items for sale and even hugs were on the menu at 50 cents each.
After the gathering of more than 5,000 egg,s the approximately 500 people enjoyed face painting and other activities provided by the PTG.
The annual event is a fun day not only for the families but also for the police officers who were volunteering their time to help with the event. The day is sponsored by the department. The Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police (VASP) donated the candy for the eggs and residents of the Willows stuffed the eggs. A variety of volunteers were there to lend a hand.
The bunny posed for pictures with the children and when all had been fed, had gathered their treats, the bunny hopped on.
Colored eggs glistened in the sun at Upper Water Works Park in Lakemore. The more than 3,500 eggs that were nestled in the grass would not be there long as egg hunters began arriving at the park. The excitement was heard as families greeted each other and kids excitedly anticipated the arrival of that long-eared fluffy white bunny.
The iconic rabbit was making his way to the Lakemore egg hunt from across town at the Springfield egg hunt. But he didn't let that distance hold him back from being there on time for the kids. He hopped and hopped until he reached the Lakemore Fire Department. Tired and in need of a drink of water and a carrot, the firemen took him into the station and then offered him a ride to the park.
A siren was heard and looking down the tree lined path leading to the park, a shiny red fire truck was seen, and through the large windshield was a happy waving Easter Bunny.
Mayor Rick Justice opened the door along with councilman Chad Lance and helped the bunny down. Once the Easter icon greeted the children, Justice announced it was time to gather those eggs.
Toddlers up to age three with their parents lined up. After the count of three, everyone shouted "Happy Easter" and off they went picking up eggs as fast as their little hands would allow.
Then, at the other side of the park, the kids ages 4 to 10 stood at the top of a hill. It was that hill they were going to run down to get to the candy filled eggs.
Justice told the kids they would count down and yell "Happy Easter" and then run and collect the eggs. The kids could not contain their excitement and before the end of the countdown several young egg hunters took off and soon others took off behind them. Prizes were given of 60 $1 coins and 12 chocolate bunnies.
It was a fun day for all families put on by the mayor and council members.
Lakemore United Methodist Church was on hand selling lunch items such as hot dogs, chips, drinks baked goods and other treats to support the Summer Fun Program that many of the children attend.
It was an all around perfect day, even the bunny gave it a thumbs up. He hung around for families to get lots of pictures. Then, the very tired bunny, hopped home to rest up for Easter, the biggest day of the year for him.