Easter celebrations have been dampened for adults and children by the COVID pandemic. Especially disheartening, many children who have physical and mental challenges have been profoundly affected by the Coronavirus, enduring the cancellation of many life-enhancing activities and programs. Fortunately, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, members of the Town Board and the folks at Peter’s Clam Bar teamed up to bring some much-needed joy to a group of special children, compliments of the Easter Bunny. Joining Clavin and the Peter’s Clam Bar Team at the Easter Bunny’s visit were a happy group of ANCHOR Program participants, Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Councilman Tom Muscarella, Councilman Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll.
“Numerous social activities have been converted to ‘virtual’ events for people with special needs, and gatherings with friends have been curtailed,” observed Clavin. “Indeed, the Coronavirus has been an isolating experience, adversely impacting the quality-of-life for many people with special needs. Thankfully, the Peter’s Clam Bar family has hopped to the rescue, accompanied by the Easter Bunny, bringing some much-needed joy to a great group of kids.”
The Peter’s Clam Bar team, led by Butch Yamali, the President and owner of the Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park, set up a visit from the Easter Bunny for the kids at the Town’s ANCHOR Program, delivering Easter treats and a basketful of joy. The visit featured the Easter Bunny, who posed for pictures with the children behind a COVID-safe plexiglass enclosure. What’s more, the youngsters were treated to an Easter Egg hunt, replete with candy and other special holiday treats.
“The look of joy on the faces of the children is what this season of joy and rebirth are all about,” said Yamali. “Many youngsters have been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus, and I am happy that we could do something to make the Easter holiday a happier occasion for a group of very special young people.”
The Easter Egg Hunt was set up in a COVID-Safe manner, providing for proper social distancing for the individual children who participated in the activity. The treats were not shared between children to guard against contact. Further, the treats were placed inside plastic eggs, offering additional protection.
“This is a wonderous time of the year for a special group of kids,” said Goosby. “I am happy to be part of this life-enhancing program.”
“This can be an extremely difficult time for many children,” said Blakeman. “Giving these youngsters a chance to see friends and interact in a safe manner is very gratifying.”
“I spend a lot of time at the ANCHOR Program, working to deliver enriching activities to young people,” said D’Esposito. “This is emblematic of the uplifting Easter story.”
“Making Easter a season of joy for the ANCHOR participants is an important thing to do,” said Dunne.
“Of the many visits that I have made to the ANCHOR Program, this has to be one of the most rewarding events that I have had the pleasure of attending,” said Muscarella.
“The Easter season is one that is full of symbols with deep meaning, and the joy of the faces of the kids here today is a clear symbol of the rebirth and joy that is part-and-parcel of Easter,” said Carini.