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"Eggs-actly" What They Need: Easter Bunny Delivers Socks for US Troops Overseas

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From left, Rev. Ron Pollock, the Easter Bunny and state Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman on the back of the flatbed truck that delivered the donated socks for US troops overseas. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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The Easter Bunny delivered five boxes of socks to state Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman Friday for shipment to US troops overseas. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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The Easter Bunny turns off Main Street in Somerville to deliver socks for US troops overseas at the office of state Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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Rev. Ron Pollock, Felix Ciattarelli and state Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman show off the socks that were donated for US troops overseas. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman sits behind the donated socks piled high on the conference table in his office. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The Easter Bunny emptied the jelly beans, chocolate and decorated eggs from his basket yesterday and replaced the traditional contents with pairs of socks destined for US military personnel overseas.

The Easter Bunny – aka Felix Ciattarelli – traveled from Raritan to Somerville Friday afternoon down Main Street, carrots in one hand, holding on to the cab of a flat-bed truck with the other along with five boxes containing 500 pairs of socks packed in red, white and blue boxes.

The delivery was made to the office of state Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman. R-Somerset,Hunterdon, Middlesex, Mercer.

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Bateman and his colleague Sen. Kristin M. Corrado. (R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Morris),  launched the “Socks for Soldiers” drive in late February to collect one of the most requested items by United States troops serving around the world.

“Our heroes at home and abroad need our help to stay warm and comfortable,” said Bateman. “That’s why I’m partnering with Senator Corrado on a new effort to collect clean, unworn socks that are in high demand by our troops and our veterans. It’s an easy, inexpensive way that we can support those who sacrifice so much on our behalf.”

Inside Bateman’s office, a conference table was already mounded with socks that had been dropped off by constituents the past several weeks.

Rev. Ron Pollock, pastor of St. John’s Episcopal Church on West High Street, also came to Bateman’s office yesterday with a tub of donations from his congregants.

Some of the socks will be shared with local charitable organizations that serve those with needs, according to Bateman.

Bateman will deliver the socks to Operation Shoebox New Jersey. The volunteer organization, with headquarters in Hillsborough, sends personal care packages to US troops overseas,  and will include the donated socks in upcoming shipments.

Ciattarelli, owner of Value Towing Service on Old York Road in Bridgewater, donates frequently to volunteer causes, according to Bateman, who estimates the 500 socks courtesy of the Easter Bunny boosted the total collected to over 2,000.

Bateman’s office, at 36 Warren St., will continue to collect the socks until Tuesday, April 3.

Further information is available by calling Bateman’s legislative office at (908) 526-3600.

Editor's Note: Tapinto Somerville owner/editor Rod Hirsch is also founder and executive director of Operation Shoebox New Jersey

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