MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU AIR BASE, Romania— The Army Support Activity-Black Sea hosted its second annual Easter Egg hunt on Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, April 14, 2023.
Volunteers from the United Service Organization, Army Morale Welfare and Recreation service, the American Red Cross and dozens of soldiers worked together to bring smiles to the faces of approximately 40 children from the local community.
Mrs. Oana Copaceanu, event coordinator and community relations specialist for ASA-Black Sea, led the event which featured egg painting events and even a Soldier costumed as the Easter Bunny.
“We did it last year and it was really really successful. It was really good and we realized that, last year, it really did impact the community because people were talking about it, even like months after. And I spoke to some of the kids because we do school engagements all the time. So, I spoke to some of the kids and they were like, ‘oh yeah, we were there when you guys did the Easter egg hunt.’ And it was really really positive,” said Copaceanu. “I’ll go on and say the general perception on the American presence here is really positive in general. So that comes to do a little bit more of that, from the American presence on base here to the community. So, we’re giving back to the community mostly.”
The event was held in order to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. Army and local communities surrounding Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base. The volunteers, identified by their white bunny ears, came from various rotational units that are stationed at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base.
“I think this positively reflects the perception of the military, just cause we’re out here, we’re having fun, we’re not in uniform, we’re just regular people, hanging out with these kids, just having fun painting eggs, doing a little Easter hunt,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Steven Alvarenga, a soldier assigned to the 1st Infantry Division “It’s awesome, and it’s a beautiful day out! For people to come here on a day off, it means a lot too.”
After the children painted eggs with the volunteers, they were given an Easter basket with snacks, candies and other goodies. The children then flooded the surrounding area to hunt for the Easter eggs that were hidden prior to their arrival. There were so many eggs that most of the children could not carry them all and the volunteers had to assist in finding a few. Many of the children boasted bright smiles as they discovered there was candy in each of the colorful eggs. Following the egg hunt, the children received even more bags of goodies from the organizations as they took group pictures to remind them of this wonderful day spent with the Americans in their hometown.
Romania’s Christian Orthodox community celebrates Good Friday and Easter a week after other Christian denominations. This holy week is also called Saptamana Mare. Community events like the Easter Egg Hunt at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base is one of the many ways ASA-Black Sea remains a trusted team of Army professionals dedicated to supporting their partners and communities in Romania.