'The Easter Bunny and Friends' look to spread Easter cheer

ST. MARYS – With Lent under way and Easter quickly approaching, a group of residents from Elk Towers in St. Marys is looking to brighten the Easter season for residents at area nursing homes. The group, called The Easter Bunny and Friends, is comprised of Diane Groeger, who acts as Easter bunny and is president of the Residents' Association at Elk Towers; Kathy Oley, vice president of the Residents' Association; Judy Schaefer, secretary of the Residents' Association; Rosemary Gray; Bonnie Carnahan; Mary Hadden; and Mary Ann Mello. The idea came about last year after the group purchased an Easter bunny outfit for a dinner at Elk Towers and decided to also use it to spread cheer to others as well. "We thought as long as we have this Easter bunny outfit, why don't we give something back by going to the nursing homes and giving them little Easter gifts?" Groeger said. She noted that last year the group visited residents at Pinecrest, Elk Haven, Silver Creek, the Adult Day Care, and Ridgmont. "This year we're also including Guy and Mary Felt Manor [in Emporium], and if anyone else down there contacts us we'll go to them also," Groeger said. During each visit, the Easter bunny visits and takes photos with nursing home residents, and the goal this year is to also give each resident a stuffed bunny and a candy bar. "So far this year we have gotten 288 of these little bunnies that we're going to give out. There's over 400 people that we're going to see and so we'll need 400 bunnies and 400 candy bars," Groeger said. While Groeger indicated that the group has almost all of the bunnies they will need, she remarked that monetary donations are being accepted and anyone who would like to make a donation can send it to her or any of the other group members at 185 Center St., St. Marys, PA 15857. She estimated that about $200 will be needed to cover the cost of the candy bars. Anyone who would like more information on The Easter Bunny and Friends, or who would like to make a donation to assist the group's efforts, can contact Groeger at 781-6634.Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.