CRANFORD, NJ — On Saturday, April 1, the seventh annual Colin Maher Easter Egg Hunt took place at Hanson Park in Cranford. Each year the egg hunt is held in honor of his memory.
“The Friends of Colin is a youth-run, 501(c)3 charity founded in loving memory of our friend, Colin Maher,” Ryan McGann of Cranford told LocalSource in an email on March 30. “Colin passed away from Ewing’s sarcoma, a pediatric cancer of the bone, at age 16 in 2010. We grew up in a very close neighborhood, and as childhood friends. When he passed away we decided
To honor his memory by starting a charity tasked at raising awareness and funds to combat pediatric cancer. Our sole mission is to work toward a day where no child has to suffer from pediatric cancer.”
Colin used to run an egg hunt for the children in the community. This event is named after him to honor his legacy.
“Our first event we held seven years ago was the Colin Maher Easter Egg Hunt,” McGann said in the email. “Since then, we have held the Easter Egg Hunt annually, as well as a 5K race and a benefit concert. The Easter Egg Hunt is important to me because Colin used to hold an egg hunt in our neighborhood for all the kids. He made sure every kid was included and got a prize. We now are on our seventh egg hunt and expect 150 kids to come out and hunt for eggs in Hanson Park in Cranford. We have games, raffles, a bake sale and an appearance by the Easter Bunny.”
At the egg hunt, the Easter Bunny posed for photos with children and handed out candy. There were bunny-themed games as well as face painting and balloon animals. Children painted their faces like bunnies and had balloons made into flowers to embrace the spring motif.
“I have a flower-heart balloon,” 4-year-old Delaney Harris of Cranford told LocalSource at the event. She had a rainbow painted on her face and found plenty of eggs during the hunt.
Many of the kids had baskets full of eggs they found during the hunt. The plastic eggs were filled with pieces of candy.
“I thought the hunt was easy,” Ashley Patt of Cranford told LocalSource in an interview at the event. “The kids kept running and it was hard when someone went to grab the egg before I could reach it. I gave most of my eggs to my friend Colin because I don’t like candy; I only like
chocolate. I love giving. I’m bringing some candy to my teacher because she has a sore throat. I got a cute chick stamp from playing the bunny game and I’m giving it to my cousin because she loves ducks.”
Children as young as 3 years of age were at the event. One girl wore a pair of bunny ears in celebration of the event.
“I’m here with 3-year-olds Natasha and Matthias,” Adrienne Petrino of Cranford told LocalSource at the event. “Three-year old Natasha is wearing bunny ears because last year the bunny was her best friend.”