Orange Police, Fire departments united with kids in inaugural egg hunt

  • Children at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School in Orange meet the Easter Bunny on Sunday. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • More than 2,000 plastic eggs containing coins that could be exchanged for goodies were strewn across Ralph C. Mahar Regional School’s fields on Sunday for the inaugural Easter egg hunt hosted by Orange’s Police and Fire departments. Grand prizes included T-shirts, toys, a bicycle and a ride to school in a police cruiser. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Children at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School in Orange on Sunday meet the Easter Bunny, meet first responders and seek 2,000 plastic eggs. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer
Published: 4/11/2022 4:08:56 PM
Modified: 4/11/2022 4:07:45 PM

ORANGE — About 150 locals, including around 100 young children, enjoyed the inaugural Easter egg hunt hosted by Orange’s Police and Fire departments on Sunday.

Police Chief James Sullivan referred to the event’s 10:45 a.m. kickoff as a “stampede” as children under 5 flooded Ralph C. Mahar Regional School’s field to seek 2,000 plastic eggs before other age groups were given the go-ahead at 11 a.m. Some eggs contained coins that could be exchanged for goodies, with grand prizes including T-shirts, toys, a bicycle and a ride to school in a police cruiser.

The idea to organize an egg hunt was brought forth by Officer Evangeline Cakounes, a 22-year-old Cape Cod native new to the Orange Police Department who Sullivan touted for bringing an exceptional desire to connect with the greater community.

“I just thought it would be fun for the community and a chance to get people interacting with the Police and Fire departments,” she said.

Members of the community who attended echoed the importance of the event’s potential to bring the town closer to its first responders.

“It was really nice for the Police Department to put this together,” resident Courtney Walsh said, adding that she would like to see children have “more chances to ride with the police officer to school” in the future.

For many children, though, this was simply a chance to have fun. Eight-year-old Liam Ellis said the day’s experience was exciting because “you can get all the prizes you want if you get a coin.”

“I just like the idea of them having more community experiences for kids in the town,” resident Jennifer Whitney noted.

Laney Brophy, president of the Orange Lions Club, which passed out free hot dogs at Sunday’s event, said the hunt was particularly “good for the community” due to the COVID-19 pandemic making similar events impossible.

“I think it’s really great because people have to get out and not be in front of laptops and computers,” she said, adding that the Lions Club looks to achieve a similar goal during its 10 a.m. egg hunt on Sunday, April 17, at Butterfield Park.

With the egg hunt debut going so well, Cakounes said she is “hoping it will become a tradition.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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