Easter bunny makes his annual rounds to Iron County care centers

The Easter bunny visits with one of the patients a hug at the Iron County Rehab and Nursing Center in Parowan, Parowan City, Utah, April 12, 2017 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – Care centers throughout Iron County had a special treat Wednesday when the Easter Bunny showed up to surprise patients with gifts, hugs and smiles.

Up until four years ago the Iron County Sheriff’s Office brought the Easter Bunny to then Valley View Medical Center to visit patients. But in 2014, deputies decided to do something a little different and instead went to every care center in the county.

The Easter bunny visits with one of the patients a hug at the Iron County Rehab and Nursing Center in Parowan, Parowan City, Utah, April 12, 2017 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, St. George News / Cedar City News

Wednesday was no different with the Easter Bunny hopping down the bunny trail to visit Brookdale Cedar City, Kolob Regional Care and Rehab, two locations of Beehive Homes, all in Cedar City, as well as Iron County Nursing Home in Parowan.

“The Easter Bunny is always a nice surprise for these folks,” Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said. “Some of these people hardly ever get visitors and others never do. So for them, a visit from the Easter Bunny is a big deal and always puts a smile on their face.”

The program is sponsored by the Easter Bunny Foundation, a nonprofit organization set up in 33 states.

The mission of the foundation is to provide children, the sick and elderly across the U.S. with a personal visit and a toy or stuffed animal from the Easter Bunny during the week of Easter.

ICSO is one of 92 sheriff’s offices and four police departments participating in the program.

Schlosser started the program 11 years ago and since then has played the bunny every year except one when he was undergoing surgery. Still, he said it never gets old.

“It’s a nice break in what is often the monotony of the job, a job that more than not is dealing with negative things – but not this,” Schlosser said, “this is positive. It’s like Shop with a Cop, you get to see folks smile and joy in their faces and it’s always something that in turn brings smiles to me and those who are with me during the visits.”

The annual service project wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for a team effort that always includes sheriff’s secretary Melissa Montiano, Schlosser said.

“She’s always the one who contacts the care centers and makes sure we can visit and sets it up,” he said. “I couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for her. There are others who always step in and help as well that I am very grateful for. This event is definitely one that requires a team effort and we have that.”

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Email: tsullvan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • whatever April 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Never too old for a visit from the Easter bunny…nice story.

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