The company that arranges visits to the mall by Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the Noerr Programs Corporation, will be bringing its Bunny Cares program to the mall this year. It will be a time for children and their families to take part in the Easter Bunny photo experience without having to worry about the challenges the mall’s crowds and lines might normally present.
The event will take on Sunday, from 9 to 11 a.m., in the mall’s fountain area near Belk. Children with special needs will be able to see the Easter Bunny outside normal mall hours, making for a calmer, quieter environment. They will also be able to take a number to reserve their turn instead of having to wait in a normal line.
“Families of children with special needs realize that some environments can be overwhelming,” said Sheryl Young, CEO of AbilityPath.org, a nonprofit organization that serves as co-sponsor for “Bunny Cares” events at malls nationwide. “As a result, many of these families don’t participate in this time-honored tradition. We have worked together to lessen potential triggers.”
Children with special needs may visit the Easter Bunny at any time, but the March 17 event will be just for them and their families.
Judy Noerr, chief executive officer of the Noerr Programs Corporation, said one of the most “rewarding” parts of the event is that it will offer these children and their siblings the chance to see the Easter Bunny together in a situation that caters to both of them.
“We take great care in making sure the Bunny Cares photo setting is conducive to all abilities, allowing these families to receive heartwarming photo memories that so many take for granted,” Noerr said.
The Easter Bunny will make his official arrival at the mall on Saturday at 11 a.m. His hours will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.