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NYPD’s 113th Precinct hosts annual Easter Egg Hunt in St. Albans

Apr. 4, 2023 By Gabriele Holtermann

With Easter right around the corner, children in Queens had a chance to celebrate early the second annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted by the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau of the 113th Precinct at the Roy Wilkins Family Center in St. Albans on April 1.  

Originally, the event was slated to take place at Roy Wilkins Park, but inclement weather forced a change in schedule. The event’s organizers, NYPD Community Affairs Officers Soto and Cross, had to improvise on short notice and move the hunt indoors with the help of the Southern Queens Park Association. 

(Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Officer Soto explained NYPD Community Affairs organized the event because she felt that the kids in the community needed an Easter Egg Hunt.

“We have all these awesome parks in our community in the 113 Precinct, so we started off small,” Officer Soto said. “We just asked for donations and I realized the community came together so much that I bumped it up to 2,000 eggs, and that’s how the 2,000 eggs came about.”

NYPD Community Affairs officers Cross and Soto agreed that the Easter Egg Hunt was a huge success. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Officer Soto gave a shout out to all the volunteers, which included the Boy Scouts of America, the NYPD’s Crime Prevention and Domestic Violence units and Lena’s Library. 

“We get so many people to volunteer their time,” Officer Soto said. “These are people who want to be here. And they actually volunteer and become an asset to our program. Me and Officer Cross and Officer Mitchell, we definitely rely on the community to allow the event to be as successful.” 

Paul Romaine of the Boy Scouts of America brought four of his troops, who helped up set the event.

“The police officers put out that they needed help to get the event set up and help clean up afterwards to make it a nice event for the kids,” Romaine said. “So we decided to come out and help.”

(Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The community and different organizations donated the eggs and candy, and NYPD Community Affairs also collaborated with various partners, including Target. The NYPD Youth Dance Program donated 50 Easter baskets filled with a stuffed Easter bunny and even more treats for the free raffle.

Newly minted Teen Miss Earth USA, Linda Derry, who is passionate about helping the community, also lent a helping hand.

“I’m always in the community helping,” said Derry, who also runs a bi-weekly environmental group for girls, teaching them about the environment and self-empowerment.

Teen Miss Earth USA Linda Derry and NYPD Officer Cross pick the raffle tickets. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

With the help of the NYPD Explorers, it took about a week to fill around 2,400 colorful plastic eggs with candy, which the kids collected in record time, filling their baskets and bunnies to the brim.

Marcia Alleyne attended the egg hunt with her 6-year-old son Christian, who was looking forward to the event and planned on collecting 100 eggs. 

“I saw it was free and thought, ‘why not bring the little one here?'” Alleyne said. 

Marsha Campbell said that her 4-year-old daughter had been ready to go since 8 in the morning. Looking at the overflowing basket, Campbell said she was definitely going to monitor her daughter’s candy intake.

“I already told her, ‘you’re not eating all of this, not today,'” Campbell said. “It’s going to be in portions. You know, they have to sleep.” 

Officers Cross and Soto agreed that the event was a great success despite the rain.

“The event was a success,” Officer Cross said. “Even though it rained on us a little bit, we made it work. Everyone got an Easter basket, which is great.” 

“And every child’s bag was filled,” Officer Soto added. “They were able to get double bags of eggs. So, more eggs for them.”

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