Suffolk Sheriff’s Department completes the bunny trail

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Suffolk Sheriff’s Department made its last stop on this year’s Easter Bunny trail at Autumn Care nursing home last week.

The Easter Bunny visited with residents, bringing them stuffed bunnies and even assisting them in their own Easter egg hunt.

This was the last stop on the Easter Bunny Trail, which began earlier in April and included stops at three other nursing homes as well as the Sentara Obici Women’s Center.

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The trail began in 2016 as part of the Easter Bunny Foundation, which was founded in 1995. The foundation provided sheriff’s departments with stuffed bunnies and Easter Bunny costumes so that they could visit children’s hospitals and nursing homes and hand out the bunnies to the residents.

The foundation is no longer active, as the founder passed away earlier this year, but the sheriff’s department still gathered up stuffed bunnies and their bunny costume and maintained the tradition of bringing smiles to the faces of nursing home residents.

“They love it. For a lot of the residents, the Easter Bunny is just as exciting to them as it is to children. They get to have fun with it and spend time with those of us at the sheriff’s office that get to visit,” said Katie Jones, the community engagement coordinator at the sheriff’s office.

This is the first time since 2019 that the sheriff’s staff could meet with the residents inside the facility. In 2020 and 2022, the Easter Bunny waved hello to the residents from outside of their windows, but still left them gifts to be handed out by staff.

“Everyone was just so excited, I think mostly because the doors were open again and we could actually visit with the people there that we’d not  seen in three years,” said Jones, “When you visit with the same people year after, you get to know them, so it was nice seeing everyone again.”