MONTCLAIR, NJ - On Saturday, March 31, hundreds of children and their families gathered at Glenfield Park for the 8th Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Mr. Bunny's Springtime Fun event.
Through a joint community effort sponsored by Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation (MNDC), Montclair Police Benevolent Association Local 53 and Montclair Parks and Recreation, the baby park area of Glenfield Park was turned into a festive atmosphere.
Gail Dunn of MNDC said, "This is part of the mission of MNDC, people helping people. Today's event was a collaborative effort with the Montclair Police and other organizations in providing a safe and fun family centered activity as we welcome spring."
Jillian Sofield of the Montclair Police commented, "I like to see the smiles on the kids faces. If I can make a way to bring a little happiness, then we have done what we set out to do in planning this event. This is my third year of involvement."
On hand to assist in the day was Fourth Ward Councilor Renee Baskerville, who once again sported her Bunny costume to welcome children and families with a basket full of candies and assorted treats.
"Today is about community," Baskerville said. "It's great to see so many families from diverse backgrounds and from the various wards coming to Glenfield Park to participate in today's event."
She added, "It also shows a commitment of engaging the Montclair Police as part of the community through building working relationships with non-profits and businesses and to create and do events like this that are safe and fun for the entire family."
Face painters, popcorn, free food, cotton candy, music and prizes were all available in abundance for attendees, who also utilized the children's area park house to take pictures with the guest of honor, Mr. Bunny.
Deputy Chief of Police Wilhelm Young was pleased with the amount of residents who came to the event. He stated, "The turnout today was wonderful. To see so many families and children from diverse backgrounds gathered here at Glenfield Park, made for a great day."
On hand assisting for the day were Garth and Madeline Guthrie of 'Reaching out Montclair', Montclair Cobras Football League and the Montclair Anglers, along with more than 50 community businesses that also donated food and prizes.
Face painter Claudia Gaskin, who grew up in Montclair, said that she fondly remembers the Easter egg hunts held at Glenfield Park as a child. She used to bring her daughter Ebony as child and now attends the annual event as a grandmother.
"Growing up, the Easter Egg Hunt was one of the annual events we looked forward to as children at Glenfield Park. In those days, you searched for the gold foiled eggs to get the prizes. I'm so glad that the tradition is still being continued."
From the smiles on the faces, organizers stated that the day proved to be a success. As the hundreds of eggs scattered across the field were swooped up on the shout of go, and the combination of the baby park, it set the tone for a festive day.