The Easter Bunny showed up in the Hill Friday afternoon, complete with long, furry, white rabbit ears—and a police uniform.
The ears and the uniform belong to Lt. Holly Wasilewski, the host of an annual Easter party in her Hill North policing district. (Wasilewski is pictured with her god-daughter, Aubrey, whose mom she got to know 12 years ago in Church Street South.)
On Friday, Wasilewski oversaw an afternoon of Easter activities for kids, including pizza, birdhouse painting, egg decoration, raffles, and candy collection. It was just the latest of many neighborhood activities organized by Wasilewski, who is known as one of the most community-minded cops in the department. Wasilewski and other organizers paid for the Easter event out of their own pockets.
Dozens of kids and parents gathered at the police substation on Hallock Avenue to take part in the festivities. Firefighters brought Truck 2 from Howard Avenue for kids to admire, a service offered by new fire Chief Allyn Wright.
At a table nearby, Officer Caitlin Zerella helped 3-year-old Zoe Frasier paint a birdhouse to match her hoody.
Another table was set up for decorating eggs.
Wasilewski taped off a section of the parking lot for an in-plain-sight candy hunt. Carmella Ricciardelli, who helped organize the event, scattered lollipops, plastic Easter eggs, and chocolates.
Children waited outside the tape, until the signal ...
... then scrambled to collect ...
... as much candy as possible.
Inside the substation, a variety of prized awaited raffling. Raffle tickets were free.
After a first group of kids picked the pavement clean of candy, Ricciardelli started spreading more for a second round for older kids. The candy kept flowing.