Church Square Park Easter Egg Hunt
The Hoboken Family Alliance annual Easter Egg hunt has been moved to Church Square Park this year. Starts tomorrow at 11:00am. You might want to read the rest of this story from last year – as well as the comments, because there was an unusual amount of controversy for a simple Christian community event.
2010 Hoboken Easter Egg Hunt
“As in the past HFA will host a Egg Hunt for the community. The hunt is scheduled for Saturday, March 27th and we will be at 11:30 and 1:00. We will continue to split the hunt into three sections based on age to help with crowds and little ones from getting trampled.
This year we will host the event at Church Square Park… check in will be at the gazebo.
Feel free to come a little early so that kids can partake in craft projects, decorate a collection bag, etc…..
We are working to get a Easter Bunny to attend this year but it has yet to be confirmed…. I will update our website as more information becomes available.
The event is open to the public… all HFA families are welcome to attend at no charge; we do ask for a donation of $5 per child for all non-members to help cover the costs of the event.”
See last years controversy after the jump…
HFA responds to 411 critics
Sometimes I’m surprised by the reaction a pretty straightforward community event reminder can have on Hoboken411. Over the weekend several commenters weighed in to criticize the Hoboken Family Alliance (HFA) for holding its annual Egg Hunt. Last night, Heather Khazen posted this response to the critics, and I thought it shouldn’t get lost in the sauce:
Our intentions were wrongly read…
“For those of you that do not know me I am the Director of Special Events for HFA. The HFA is open to all families in town that would like to participate in our alliance. It was created 10 years ago by a small group of moms similar to yourself, people that were concerned about the town being family friendly, wanting to create playgroups and wanting our community to focus on what is important to those that are committed to living in town and bringing up our children. In addition to the services that we offer our members we also promote charities and needy programs in town by supporting grants and monthly programs. For those of you that attended our Cabin Fever event you already know that we gave away $10K in grants this year to five programs, including Hudson Casa, Hudson Milestones, Connors School, In Jesus Names Charities and Hudson Cradle – all worthy programs that are underfunded and especially suffering in these economic times since donations tend to the best first thing pulled by major corporations.
In order for us to offer these grants (and continue to offer a larger amount yearly) we host community events, accept donations from local sponsors, produce a newsletter and website that accepts advertisers. All of the work associated with our alliance is 100% voluntary and also very time consuming, all of the directors (which do about 90% of the work on our own – consisting of only 9 people – and mind you none of us have ever had anyone watch/babysit our children except a spouse or a paid babysitter so that we can be involved), work full time, raise families and have one motivation – to make our town a better community for our children and to show them how important that is to be involved and participate in the town that you live.
All this being said we had some pretty negative feedback about the HFA posted on Hoboken411 regarding our egg hunt. For those of you that have attended in the past we have always charged a nominal fee for participation in the event – this charge was intended to cover the cost of eggs and materials needed to run the event. We do not request donations/supporters for this event because it tends to be so close to our Cabin Fever program. We understand that people pay for membership but the membership dollars go to cover the cost of our newsletter (which is published monthly) and any excess goes to our grants. The Egg Hunt was always intended to be an event that was fun for the children that support HFA – not a money maker. In fact despite the donations we still end up paying about $1000 dollars for this event to occur.
The Community is right that the park is open space however we cleared this in advance and the town was in agreement with us that offering to HFA members (which consists of 400 families) limited our exposure for safety concerns. For those that have been in town for a few years you can recall several years where the crowds have been very large (400 + kids – and parents) and we had several people that were concerned about the safety of children and comp laints since children would arrive to find out that we have run out of eggs (even when supplying 2000+). The decision to offer to HFA members was solely related to safety. However, please bear in mind that I must have received about 100 emails from the community (most not belonging to HFA) and returned a message to all letting them know that we would certainly not disappoint a child and turn away a family from participating.
Our intention was never to limit certain participants, in fact we welcomed all people (even offering free memberships to families that cannot afford the $40 fee). We are not trying to create an “elite” set of members rather requesting that all families want to help with our mission by joining the HFA …in fact it has been explained on several occasions at the Jubliee Center and at In Jesus Names Charities that this membership would be waived. I am sure that there are several people on this site that do not belong to HFA (which consists of 2500 moms and we only have 400 families) that attended our hunt on Saturday that were not turned away.
We all live in this town together and it will take all of us together to make a difference. The schools, our school board, our taxes, community programs, parks, pedestrian safety – these are all issues that all families care about regardless of your economic situation. As parents we should all unite for the betterment of our children rather then exert energy towards complaints. I for one would never want my children to think that I spent time bashing organizations on a website rather then contacting them to help volunteer and participate. We are always open to opposing views and alternate community input…in fact our own website allows for comments under all postings.
For those HFA families (along with our supporters/advertisers) that did attend…. as always we appreciate your support and for those moms/families that are not already HFA members reading this message I encourage you at this time to visit our website at www.hobokenfamily.com to learn more about our true mission and to join. I know that this is lengthy but I appreciate you reading; as you can imagine I personally dedicate a lot of my own personal time towards making these events special for our children so I take personal offense that our intentions were so wrongly read.
Thank you and hoping that you all had a wonderful holiday (Easter or Passover).
Kids love Easter Egg hunts!
- 2 hunts, 10:00 & 11:00 (all hunts split into three age groups)
- $5 charge per child to cover cost of eggs
- HFA members only (we will accept enrollment at the event)
- Check in for your bag at the gazebo.
- Bake sale
- Arts & Crafts Section
- Child Fingerprinting Station
- Special Olympics Activities
Special thanks to the County of Hudson for use of the park and members of Alpha Phi Omega at Stevens Institute of Technology for helping with the event.