Carrboro Commons

Carrboro helps provide Easter fun for everyone

Posted on April 14th, 2011 in Events by jock

By Megan Walker

Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Duncan, a Shady Lawn resident, hunts for eggs with the help of Residential Services Inc. worker Tonia Davis. (Staff photo by Megan Walker)

Remember being divided up into teams during physical education class and hoping you would be one of the first teammates picked? Well, the Carrboro Parks and Recreation Department is trying to make everyone feel like a first-pick this Easter.  In addition to the traditional Easter egg hunt this coming weekend, the department hosted an Easter egg hunt for children with disabilities on Saturday, April 9.

For the past two years, the department has held two egg hunts; the first egg hunt this spring was planned for people with mental and physical disabilities.  Dana Hughes, the department’s recreation supervisor and event planner, said it was important to have this event.

“It gives people with disabilities the chance to do something special this time of year,” she said.

The event took place on the basketball courts at Hank Anderson Park in order to be wheelchair accessible, and department workers placed eggs throughout the court and on the hay bales.

“Last year, we didn’t actually have anyone show up, so this year we tried to promote it a little more hoping that more people will come,” Hughes said.

Around 15 people attended this year’s egg hunt; participants included Melanie Edwards, Elizabeth Fouts and their daughter, Natalia Fouts.

Elizabeth Fouts and her daughter, Natalia, run around the basketball courts after hunting for eggs earlier in the morning. (Staff photo by Megan Walker)

“Natalia has special needs, and with regular egg hunts she’s not really able to participate,” Edwards said. “The ones for kids with special needs are a lot easier for her to do.”

Hughes said some of the preparations that had been made included hay bales of different heights to accommodate wheelchair-users and beeping eggs for those with visual impairments. If needed, volunteers could also accompany participants with mental disabilities.

“When we have tried to participate in regular ones [egg hunts], she has a hard time even getting any eggs with kids her age,” Edwards said. “Here, she’s able to get all the eggs she wants. It’s great.”

A group of disabled residents from Chapel Hill, accompanied by Residential Services, Inc. workers, also came.  Residential Services is non-profit organization that works with and supports those with developmental disabilities.

“It’s great that we can just come out and have something to do for the day,” said Barnell Boles, a Residential Services employee at the egg hunt. “We like everything that the Parks and Rec Department allows us to do.  It allows us to have fun with [those who have] special needs.”

Craig, a Shady Lawn resident, gives Elizabeth Fouts a surprise hug at the end of the Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 9. (Staff photo by Megan Walker)

Boles said he thought the egg hunt was well designed for people with disabilities.

While planning the hunt, Hughes said she tried to anticipate the needs of those with disabilities.

“They can do both egg hunts,” Hughes said. “We just wanted to have this one in case they didn’t want to go out with so many people or couldn’t go on the ball field.”

Tonia Davis from Residential Services accompanied one participant, Duncan, around the egg hunt.

“We had a good time at the egg hunt, even though it was a little cold,” she said.

Hughes said she was glad so many came out despite the cold and rainy weather on Saturday. She said the Parks and Recreation Department plans to continue to host this egg hunt if people continue to attend.

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