Story by Sara Paul
‘Twas the day before Easter and all through Veterans Memorial Park, not a creature was stirring…except for more than 200 egg hunters! The Warwick Fire Department, along with the Village of Warwick Recreation Committee, sponsored the annual Warwick Easter Egg Hunt on Sat., Mar. 31 in Veterans Memorial Park in Warwick.
With the parks baseball field separated into three areas for kids three and under, four to six, and seven to 12, every child was able to fill their baskets with scattered candy and eggs. The fire truck siren was heard a little after 10 a.m. to alert participants that it was time to begin the quest, many seeking the popular three golden eggs, which promise of large bags of goodies when redeemed.
Attendees were only asked to bring a non-perishable item as an entry fee, all of which are donated to the Warwick Methodist Church Food Pantry. Organizers, Melissa Stevens of the Warwick Fire Department President who is a 21-year department veteran, and Ron Introini, Director of Village Recreation, noted that the event sees hundreds of visitors every year. While the Hunt is a more than a 20-year-old tradition, it recently moved from Stanley-Deming Park, which was a smaller venue.
“It’s a really special holiday for the community and it gets kids out to see the Easter bunny, and, well, all kids love candy,” said Introini, who has been Director for 16 years.
Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard and Fire Chief Phil Cialella were also on hand to chat with families and, of course, greet the Bunny of the hour.
“This is a celebration of our young families, and I love being here to see the children with their parents and grandparents. Its small town at its best,” said Mayor Newhard, who was joined by Town Deputy Supervisor Jim Gerstner and his wife, Kathy, and their granddaughter, Ciley.
Many families enjoyed the morning sunshine, while children ran and played after the egg hunt had ended.
Bill Cutler, a Pine Island resident who regularly attends the spring festivities, exclaimed, “This is family oriented and it’s just a really good time!”