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The Suburbanite
  • Holiday, Easter bunny arrive in style

  • For 16 years, the Springfield Police Department has escorted the Easter Bunny to the annual Easter egg hunt. This year, the Easter icon arrived March 23 at the Schrop Middle School football field sitting in a bright-yellow Ford Mustang convertible.

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  • For 16 years, the Springfield Police Department has escorted the Easter Bunny to the annual Easter egg hunt. This year, the Easter icon arrived March 23 at the Schrop Middle School football field sitting in a bright-yellow Ford Mustang convertible.
    The long-eared, furry deliverer of eggs and candy has arrived in style over the years. The bunny has greeted children arriving by train, fire engine, police car and, one year, he came in a limo with Santa Claus as his helper.
    Kids of all ages were on hand, on what was an unusual sunny day for the event.
    Sunshine and a yellow Mustang added to the already happy atmosphere as egg hunters, with their egg containers in hand-prepared to gather as many treats they could.
    The colorful plastic eggs are always filled by the bunny’s favorite helpers of the Willow’s Craft Club. They have taken pride in their handiwork for many years, filling each plastic egg with goodies for the children. It takes weeks to fill the more than 6,000 eggs with candy and other goodies.
    If an egg hunter found a Springfield Township key ring in an egg, they were the winners of a $25 gift certificate to Toys R Us. There was one prize for each of the three age groups and they were donated by the three trustees of the township: Deborah Davis, Bruce Killian and Dean Young.
    Each year, Community Policing Officer Perry Linaburg and his lighting quick rabbit-like fellow officers  — including many VASP (Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police) members — made this a great day for families. These bunny helpers and community volunteers gather early in the morning to spread the eggs on the playground of the school for the toddlers. Then, they cover the school’s football field with the brightly colored eggs for the other two age groups.
    Egg hunters and their parents sit in the bleachers as Linaburg lays down the hunting rules. When sound of sirens go off, all the children know it means the bunny is almost there.
    Once he has greeted everyone the hunt begins with the toddlers finding eggs first. Children smile as they run to gather their eggs and wipe the field clean.
    As Chief of Police, John Smith said, “it is like a big Hoover vacuum cleaner comes in and sucks thousands of eggs up in a minute.”
    After the hunt, families emptied their gathered goodies into their containers and left the eggs behind for the bunny to do it all over again next year. Each of the participants and their families were invited to have a lunch at the school where they could also participate in other activities such as face-painting.
    How will the bunny hop in next year? We will all have to wait and see.