Easter Bunny makes house calls to Fort Collins kids under coronavirus stay-at-home orders
Fort Collins Coloradoan
Deb Lukasiewicz told her 2-year-old daughter, Addi, that the Easter Bunny might visit their Fort Collins house Sunday.
“Easter has been so different than normal, so I thought it would be such a fun treat for her to get that special visit,” Lukasiewicz said.
When the Easter Bunny rang their doorbell Sunday afternoon, Lukasiewicz said Addi squealed with excitement.
Lukasiewicz had to remind her daughter the Easter Bunny had to stay 6 feet away, even though Addi wanted to give the bunny a hug and have the bunny come inside to play with her toys.
Instead, Lukasiewicz said Addi decided to give the Easter Bunny some flowers as a “thank you” for her Easter basket.
Kelsey Wade, the 16-year-old known to many Sunday as the neighborhood Easter Bunny, said Addi’s visit was the highlight of her day.
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“There was this one girl who was really happy I was there, and they gave me flowers, which was really nice,” Wade said.
Kelsey had the idea to put on her handmade bunny costume and visit neighborhood children as the Easter Bunny after she and her mother, Barb Wade, read posts on their neighborhood’s Nextdoor page from families saying their children were sad they had to miss regular Easter traditions because of the stay-at-home order issued to control the coronavirus outbreak.
Kelsey, who made the bunny costume as a member of the furry fandom, decided to put on her fur suit and visit neighborhood children — waving, dancing and blowing them kisses — all while staying at least six feet away, Wade said.
“It’s so neat to see neighbors reach out to one another, and I think it’s just a reminder that we’re in this together,” Lukasiewicz said. “We’re helping each other out, and if that means dressing like a bunny, then we do it.”
Kelsey spent most of Sunday making trips to people’s houses who requested an Easter Bunny visit by responding to their post on the Nextdoor page.
“At first I was a little nervous, not sure how people were going to respond,” Kelsey said. “Everyone seems pretty happy and really glad that I stopped by their houses.”
People driving by rolled down their windows so their kids could see the Easter Bunny wave and dance, Wade said. After their first round of house calls Sunday, they got home and received several more texts from people they didn’t even know asking for a visit from the Easter Bunny.
Beth Johnson requested a visit for her 5-year-old daughter, Layla, who she said was sad they couldn’t visit with the Easter Bunny this year because of the coronavirus.
“She was really excited and almost speechless. It was so cute,” Johnson said, adding how thankful she was for the visit. “It brought her a little piece of normalcy and tradition.”
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While adults are helping their neighbors right now by buying groceries or making masks, Wade said her teenage children were struggling with finding ways to help.
“A lot of the kids were smiling, clapping, they were really happy,” Kelsey said. “Since there’s not a ton of ways I can help, this is one of the ways.”
As part of the furry fandom, Kelsey already had a bunny fur suit she made to attend furry gatherings and conventions. Wade said her daughter is normally introverted and shy, but in her furry fur suits, her entire personality comes out.
“I’m so proud of her,” Wade said. “I’m so amazingly proud of her and inspired by just the way she expresses joy.”
Wade said their family is Jewish, but both Passover and Easter are all about “love, they’re about kindness, they’re about selflessness, they’re about gratitude.”
“It’s not about (religion), it’s about helping in any way we can,” Wade said.
Kelsey said she was happy to make so many kids happy on Sunday.
“It doesn’t really matter what religion people are… I just want to make people’s day,” Kelsey said. “I just hope people know we’re doing it out of love and kindness, to make people happy.”
A different kind of Easter
Easter Sunday looked different across Fort Collins this year.
Hunts for plastic eggs in parks and yards were instead searches for decorated paper eggs cut out and hung in windows. Sunday brunches with families were suddenly smaller on consisted of everyone gathering around computer screens and toasting at a webcam. And church parking lots – usually packed – were almost completely empty, with congregations meeting virtually from their homes to celebrate the Easter messages of hope, courage and rebirth.
Go to Coloradoan.com to see some of the church signs. And share photos of your own innovative Easter celebrations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sady Swanson covers crime, courts, public safety and more throughout Northern Colorado. You can send your story ideas to her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan. Support our work and local journalism with a digital subscription at Coloradoan.com/subscribe.
This content was originally published here.