But this year, about 300 local children in foster care and adopted children of all ages gathered at one location Saturday morning to celebrate Easter. Siblings were reunited for the event and children with special needs were accommodated.
The Easter extravaganza was held at Burgess Park and presented by Sierra Association of Foster Families, No Child Left Behind Behavioral Healthcare Services and the Northern Nevada Family Repsite and Volunteer Experiences (RAVE) Foundation.
“Children with autism, mental health needs, wheelchair bound and developmentally delayed will have the chance to enjoy time with other children in foster care and experience things that other more able-bodied regularly do,” Colum M. Sorensen, fundraising coordinator for NCLB Behavioral Healthcare Services, wrote in a press release prior to the event.
Candia Tolbert, program director for No Child Left Behind, organized the inaugural Easter celebration as a fun way to reunite children with their families and to give the children a chance to see how many other foster kids exist.
“Easter is so much about family,” Tolbert said. “I thought this would be a good opportunity to bring the children together to see their siblings and to spend time with other children in foster care.”
Tolbert said the Sierra Association of Foster Families donated prizes, eggs and treats for the children.
“I have about 2,000 eggs out there,” she said, motioning to a grassy area of the park. “Each child will get at least 10 eggs and an additional prize.”
In addition to all the Easter loot, children received balloons, cotton candy and other refreshments and got their faces painted.
“It’s a lot of fun,” 16-year-old Jeremiah said. “This is my first Easter egg hunt.”
“This is my second Easter egg hunt,” Ben, 11, said.