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Easter eggs again rained down on Brentwood Park

DAVID F. ASHTON - A helicopter swoops in over Brentwood Park so that volunteers aboard can shower the area with orange plastic Easter Eggs. Once again this year, the leaders and congregation of Hope City Church held a “Code Orange Easter” celebration for the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, at Brentwood Park.

At the March 19 Easter-themed neighborhood party, Lead Pastor Brian Becker said that instead of creating a different event each year, they “strive for consistency in the neighborhood, connecting with the people here. But, every year, we make it bigger and better.” And, it always requires a helicopter!

But before the eggs fell, this year there were even more activities for kids – adding face-painting stations to the mix. Also in the park were kids’ favorites, including carnival games like Plinko, beanbag toss, and “Pin in the cottontail on the rabbit”. Volunteers also had set up several bounce houses and attractions for the more active youngsters.

“The reason we do this in Brentwood Park is that families in this area previously never had a fun event like this of their own,” Becker said. “We wanted to make it fun, and maybe better than anyplace else’s, which is how we came up with the idea of having a helicopter drop Easter Eggs.”

About a third of the church’s congregation, about 125 people, worked the celebration. “We do it because the event matches the mission of our church,” Becker noted. “Jesus Christ cared about people, cared about his community, and reached out to address ‘felt needs’. We’re reaching out because we want to show that we love this part of our city – in actions, not words.”

Sure enough, at 11:15 a.m., a helicopter appeared on the western horizon and rapidly approached the park – and then, when arriving overhead, started dropping hundreds of orange-colored plastic Easter Eggs, dropped from the air in two areas of the park.

Kids scrambled after the 25,000 empty plastic eggs thus scattered. It’s an egalitarian process – each child receives the same amount of candy, whether they gather and turn in one egg or a dozen.

“I’m not sure what’s better, the smiles of the kids’ faces, or the big grins on the faces of our volunteers,” Becker observed.