By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – The Easter Bunny and the Exchange Club Time Out Teddy Bear mascot posed for photos with excited children during the restored Easter Egg Hunt April 10 at Memorial Park.
With separate areas for three different age groups, children collected plastic eggs, which were turned in for prizes and a candy bag after the scramble. Egg hunt areas were set aside for ages 1 to 3, 4 to 6, and 7 to 9 years old.
Three golden tickets were hidden in plastic eggs, one for each age group, which were redeemable for special Easter baskets.
City Councilmember Michael Higgins said the recently reinstated Easter egg hunt is the first sign of spring in the city.
He said the Exchange Club has sponsored the event for years, which is a fun event for children.
Last year, due to the pandemic, the Exchange Club sponsored a drive-through Easter candy event.
“It was nice, but it’s not the same,” Higgins said. “This is so nice to see people be able to get together again – it’s just great.”
Mayor Tom Karnes, who is also a member of the Exchange Club, agreed that it is great to see people getting out again for community events.
“The special thing about this event is the Exchange Club uses it as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month,” he said. “We distribute literature for kids to use safe Internet, and we have Time Out Teddy here, the spokes bear for the Exchange Club.”
Karnes said Time Out Teddy is important because he provides parents with a safe alternative when they are frustrated with their children’s behavior.
“When you get irritated with your kids, and every parent does from time to time, you take time out and you back away,” he said. “I think it is our ninth year now, we took it over for the city and made it a combined event. It’s good for the kids, and educational for the parents.”
City Councilmember and Exchange Club member Maureen Tobin, who donned the Easter Bunny costume, said she was excited by the turnout.
“I am so glad that this has come back after being gone for a couple years and having to do a drive-through,” she said. “To have all the kids come back, I am so excited.”
Tobin said that she is glad things are getting back to normal for the children.
“Lincoln Park is working hard to bring everything back, and we are going to have a fabulous summer, and 2022 is just going to get better,” she said.