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Recreation Department prepares for 38th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza

February 20, 2019
BERLIN — Berlin's Recreation Department is one of the smaller items on the upcoming city budget, but its value to the community is immeasurable. On a gray Friday afternoon, our correspondent stopped by and spoke with Recreation Director Terry Letarte. There were several dozen local kids taking advantage of the open gym to shoot some hoops and hang out.

Letarte is currently planning for the 38th annual Easter Eggstravaganza. Last year, a $500 CLiF grant helped her buy books to give away at the event.

"They were a big hit," she said. "Each child was able to get two books."

Local businesses also support the Center, she said, adding "I recently received a $100 donation from Badger Realty, I've already used the money to purchase books to hand out as children wait to visit with the Easter Bunny and participate in the hunt."

Letarte describes the event as a "massive, labor intensive project." The event fills the decorated gymnasium with more than 200 children searching for 3,000 candy filled eggs, and toys.

Support from the community has helped the Recreation Department provide programs for kids who are unable to participate in scholastic sports programs, due to financial or time concerns. Letarte says she is open to new ideas. She would especially like to add something relating to Art, and perhaps an adult game day. Volunteers are welcome, as are donations.

"Verizon Wireless always contributes money, and they buy four large Easter baskets filled with candy and toys," LeTarte said.

What do all those donations of time and money go to? Letarte estimates that last year, more than 150 children participated in the Soccer program, more than 35 kids were in the Basketball program, and the Hockey program had over 40 participants. This winter 65 students were able to ski or snowboard at Wildcat thanks to the program, and 24 of those students received merit based scholarships.

"We provide a place for people to go, and it doesn't matter how much money you have," LeTarte said.

The Rec Center also hosts senior citizens taking part in the Bone Builders program, adult walking time during inclement weather, and the Enhanced Learning Center.

In addition to accepting eager volunteers and donations, Terry Letarte asks that locals come out at budget time and support the Recreation Department. And don't forget the 38th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza on April 13.

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