Holiday spirit hops into Mike Greenwell’s on Saturday
Hundreds of families waited in line Saturday morning to receive multi-colored Easter eggs and have a chance to meet the Easter Bunny at the 18th Annual Easter Bunny Trail at Mike Greenwell’s Bat-A-Ball and Family Fun Park.
From 10 a.m. to noon the families strolled through Greenwell’s 18-hole miniature golf course stopping at each hole to receive gifts from sponsors ranging from colored eggs to candy and even slices of pizza. For over two hours the park hosted 1,500 visitors, said Dana Waters, promotions and marketing director.
“It’s a safe, community event for kids,” said Waters. “The trail is easier and they all get the same amount.”
In the past the park organized a genuine Easter egg hunt where hundreds of children scoured the grounds for plastic eggs, but for safety reasons they incorporated the trail through the golf course. Now every child receives the same amount of candy and there is no chance of falling or lost children.
Although the event began Saturday morning the heat was intense. According to Waters, many of the families arrived early to avoid the muggy weather. By noon, when the sun was far more intense, and most of the crowds had dissipated.
This year’s trail hosted a total of 14 sponsors handing out goodie bags and candy. Two of the sponsors have been volunteering for the event every year since it began. Both Jeff Jones from the Cape Coral Police Department and CAT Country 107.1 supported Greenwell’s trail for the past 18 years, said Waters.
They are also two sponsors that receive no revenue from the trail, she added.
Modeled after the park’s Safe Trick and Treat night, the bunny trail has been growing in size each year. Waters said that organizers are hoping to gain an attendance of 4,000 in the future to rival the Halloween event.
Admission to the trail was free, but organizers asked families to bring pet donations ranging from food to treats to toys. Later the items are divvied up among local animal shelters such as the Animal Refuge Center in North Fort Myers.
“It’s free but people are generous with the pet donations,” said Waters. “Those who brought donations are entered into a raffle for a $100 Easter basket.”
The 2009 sponsors of the Easter Bunny Trail included the Cape Coral Police Department, Il Primo, YMCA, Tropical Twisters Gymnastics, Nonna’s Pizza, Uno’s Chicago Grill, Peter’s Pizzaria, Chic Spatique, Street Defense Systems, Fort Myers Skatium, Fifth Third Bank, Runway, Edge Dance Academy, GFS Marketplace, CAT Country and the Ice Cream Club of Cape Coral.
For more information on the park, visit www.greenwellsfamilyfunpark.com.