‘Egg’-stravaganza connecting youth with Chatham-Kent first responders

Nash Hendricks, right, was one of hundreds of Chatham-Kent residents at the third annual Egg-stravaganza at Kingston Park on Monday. (Photo by Michael Hugall)

Hundreds of Chatham-Kent residents flooded Kingston Park on Monday morning for the third annual ‘Egg’ – Stravaganza, an event hosted by first responders.

Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services were stationed throughout the park, taking pictures with youngsters and giving everyone an inside tour of their vehicles. Although the event was Easter themed, it was an opportunity for children to get a positive look at who to call when there is an emergency, according to Constable Renee Cowell of the Chatham-Kent Police Service.

“We want them to know that in an emergency they can run to us and not away from us,” she said. “We’re just here to make sure the kids have a hoppin’ good time.”

Optimist Club of Chatham member Gary Beatty echoed Cowell. He said it was a great opportunity for his club to connect with the community and show children the services that will eventually become available to them.

“Our motto is ‘friend of youth,'” said Beatty, who was accompanied by fellow club members serving lunch for patrons. “When we’re invited to something like this it gives us the opportunity not only to meet the people… but the children and the parents actually get to see what the EMS, police, and fire services do for the community and how important they are.”

Local organizations contributed to the Easter Monday festivities. Tek Savvy set up a shaded area where children could get their face painted and the Optimist Club made sure no one went hungry, cooking hamburgers and hot dogs for the crowd.

Sasha Broadbent, 6, said she was happy to be there.

“My favourite activity today was getting a butterfly painted on my face,” she said. “It has my favourite colours, purple, and blue.”

Kevin Le, 4, said seeing the firetrucks was his favourite part of the day.