The Easter Bunny, portrayed by Henry County Assistant District Attorney Trea Pipkin, entertained children Saturday at the fifth annual Extra Special Easter Party. The event, sponsored by People First of Henry County, was designed to reach out to the local special-needs community.
Dozens of special-needs children and adults in the area, and their families, were recently treated to an Easter-themed event.
The fifth annual Extra Special Easter Party was held at Nash Farm in Hampton. The occasion, sponsored People First of Henry County, featured several activities for local residents with disabilities.
Connie Dodgen, a director for People First, helped to sponsor the party. Additional sponsors for the event, she said, included the Henry County Parks & Recreation Department, the Line Creek Civitan Club, and various donors.
Dodgen said the party enabled special-needs individuals to interact with one another, in a supportive environment.
"Our mission is to promote fairness and equality for people with disabilities, and to raise community awareness and self-esteem for people with special needs," said Dodgen.
"More than 300 people came out and enjoyed the beautiful, but windy day at Nash Farm," said Dodgen. Special-needs families from all over the metro area looked for 6,000 eggs, played Bingo for prizes, hugged the Easter Bunny, got their faces painted, won stuffed animals, ate ice cream, cake, and made crafts, she said.
Henry County Assistant District Attorney, Trea Pipkin, portrayed the Easter Bunny during the party. He commended People First for its work on behalf of the special-needs community.
"It's a terrific cause, and I get a lot more out of it personally than anybody with special needs," Pipkin said. "People First is a wonderful organization, that reaches out to individuals with special needs and hopes to give them as many opportunities as anyone else."
The prosecutor also voiced high praise for the special-needs community in Henry.
"You can't be around people with special needs, without forgetting about your own minor, day-to-day problems," Pipkin said. "If you ever want to see real courage, spend the day with someone who has special needs."
Connie Dodgen, of People First, added that five inflatables were placed inside a barn at the farm, so they would not blow away, and everyone could enjoy them.
On April 30, People First of Henry County will host a celebration, honoring 32 past kings and queens of the Mr. and Miss Special Henry County Pageant from 2003-2010.
"This past year was the last pageant that People First was sponsoring, so we are going to celebrate in style as Adam Roll, Sherrie Ferguson, Michael Lind, and Rozalyn Miles give up their crowns," Dodgen said. "But they will not be crowning a new King and Queen at this party. We will be showcasing our past kings and queens."
The celebration will include a dinner and a dance, featuring disc jockey Brad Wright. Tickets for the celebration are $10 each, and payment can be sent to People First, P.O. Box 806, Lovejoy, Ga. 30250.