The Easter bunny dropped a lot of eggs throughout West and Southwest Philadelphia over the holiday weekend – and children living in the area were all to glad to find them.
Last Saturday, Easter egg hunts were held in at least three locations in our area and altogether, hundreds of children participated.
Hunts took place at the Malcolm X Park on 52nd and Pine Street, the Francis Meyers Recreation Center and on individual blocks for Deborah Briggs and Betty Harris, of Betty Harris Homes on the 2600 block of Bonnaffon Street.
“We have lots of parents and children out here, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell out here and our state representative Jim Roebuck,” said Gregorio Pac Cojulun, Jr. president of the Friends of Malcolm X Memorial Park.
Hundreds of children attended this event with their parents and enjoyed moon bounces, a special visit from the Easter Bunny and other popular cartoon figures, food and face painting.
“It’s Easter and it’s a chance for us to give the kids a good time,” Cojulun said. “This park was made for them, so let them go ahead and enjoy themselves. That’s the main thing, for the children to enjoy themselves.”
One of the highlights of the day was the visit from the firefighters from the Philadelphia Fire Department, who arrived in a fire truck, full uniform and gave a tour of the truck to the children who lined up in anticipation for their chance to enter the fire truck.
“They usually park the truck outside and give the children a tour and sometimes they pull out one of the hoses and allow the children to handle it,” Cojulun said. “The kids just have a ball. A lot of kids just see fireman fly down the street going to fires and stuff like that and this is a chance to see what they really do; how heavy their coats and helmets are, let them see the boots. It’s pretty fascinating for some of the kids.”
In Southwest Philadelphia, the Easter bunny seemed to have dropped hundreds of eggs in the yard of Francis Meyers Recreation Center, at 58th and Chester – where over a hundred children were all to glad to find them.
Organized by Sonya Walker, director of Safe Haven Youth Foundation, the children were not only able to participate in an Easter egg hunt outside the Rec Center, but also enjoyed fun activities and snacks inside.
“This is just basically to keep the kids off the street and to have positive fun and do all kinds of fun things while learning our morals and respect for each other,” she said.
Deborah Briggs, block captain of the 2600 block of Bonnaffon Street, joined with Betty Harris of Betty Harris Homes, Inc., treated flocks of lchildren to an Easter egg hunt. Crowds of children gathered at Harris’ home for holiday treats and festivities.
“We dyed some eggs, brought plastic eggs [filled with candy] and let the kids come out and have an Easter egg hunt and just have fun,” said Briggs who had a team of volunteers to assist her and Harris with the event.
“Its something that we do every year and I think it’s a wonderful thing and we do it for the children in our community,” said Harris, who is co-block captain and a community advocate.
Among the volunteers were two junior block captains, Clayton Ferris, 10, who has worked in this capacity for several years along with Rasheed Arnold, 8.
“It feels great because you don’t want to live on a block that’s dirty, so we get up and clean the block,” said Ferris when asked what it was like to be a junior block captain.
Arnold echoed these sentiments.
“I clean the block when there is trash in front of my door and I pull the weeds up,” he said.