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Sheriff's Department Bunny Helps Hope Community's Easter Celebration

Tom Flanigan

Several Capital City service groups joined forces on Saturday (3/31) to throw a party for the previously homeless families now living at the Hope Community.

Special guests included the Easter Bunny, courtesy of the Leon County Sheriff's Department. The bunny arrived in a tricked-out Sheriff's ATV complete with siren and flashing lights. Sheriff Walt McNeil himself was helping distribute treats and goodies to the kids and their parents.

"Some of these kids hopefully will be the next generation of leaders in our community and if we're not out talking to and encouraging them, no one else is going to do that," said Sheriff McNeil. "This is just fantastic. We love doing this!"

Another group helping out was the Junior League of Tallahassee. Lauren Thornton was the League's project leader.

"We saw a huge need with Hope Community," she remarked as kids and grownups cheered the arriving of the Easter Bunny. "They definitely aren't as recognized as some of the other shelters in the area, so when we saw the need, we were thrilled we had the opportunity to help and support them."

Hope Community Executive Director Sylvia Smith called it a big success all around.

"We love working with the Sheriff's Department. They help us with a lot of holidays. The kids have had so much fun this morning!"

Meanwhile, Hope Community is helping its residents towards self-sufficiency and permanent homes of their own.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.