Ethan Spiess, 3, of Riverview, hunts for Easter eggs during the Hawthorne Village's annual Easter egg hunt. LAURA CONE/STAFF
By LAURA CONE The Brandon News
Published: April 2, 2013
Updated: April 2, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Billie Laughlin, 81, said she was thrilled to have the chance to watch her 3-year-old great-grandson’s eyes light up as he gathered Easter eggs. Laughlin and dozens of other residents at the Hawthorne Village retirement community gathered outside March 29 for the annual community Easter egg hunt. “I think it’s wonderful,” Laughlin said, as her great-grandson Ethan Spiess of Riverview filled his basket. “He has been great. They are so family-oriented here.” Erika Perez of Brandon said she visited her grandmother, Helen Sbrocco, 92, who is a resident at Hawthorne Village, which opened west of Lumsden Road and King Avenue in Brandon in 1994.
Perez brought her two sons, Ethan, 5, and Owen, 2. “It’s a nice experience for the residents to interact with the children,” Perez said. “The children have a lot of fun. My sons are comfortable with people with differences. They see people in wheelchairs.” Trenna Russ, the director of marketing for Hawthorne Village, said the independent, assisted living and skilled nursing retirement community has hosted the Community Easter Egg Hunt for more than a decade. “We have a beautiful campus that we can share,” Russ said. “Our residents love it. They love to watch them getting their pictures taken with the Easter bunny.” Cassara McNanna of Valrico brought her four children ranging in age from 3 to 18. Her daughter, Alyssa Collier, 18, said she remembers coming to the event as a child. This year, she watched 3-year-old brother, Rhyan McNanna, collect eggs. “He probably got about 18 eggs – he’s loving it,” Cassara McNanna said. Russ said other Hawthorne events open to the public include the fall festival in October and pictures with Santa in December.