Easter was a little different for many this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some Watauga organizations wanted to help brighten the holiday for community members.

Appalachian State University Athletics partnered with Ransom and Stick Boy Bread Co. to deliver brunch and treats to Appalachian Regional Healthcare System staff at the Watauga Medical Center on April 12.

Kate Misltead, the assistant director of marking for App State Athletics, said the department wanted to bring some joy and a demonstration of support for health care workers while also supporting local businesses. The group provided between 150 and 175 brunch meals to WMC staff complete with food items like biscuits and gravy, fruit and pastries. Misltead said the initiative was a “true team effort.”

“It was an opportunity to support our local health care workers on a day that they might normally be able to spend time with family and enjoy things they may not be able to enjoy in this time,” Misltead.

The annual Downtown Boone Easter Eggstravaganza scheduled for April 4 had to be canceled due to social distancing guidelines as well as Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 121 — also known as the stay-at-home order. Watauga County Parks and Recreation Director Stephen Poulos said his department wanted to provide families a diversion from the pandemic by handing out Easter eggs to families.

Parks and Rec staff handed out 50 Easter eggs to the first 50 families who picked up meals from Watauga County Schools sites on April 9, and 25 Easter eggs to 20 families that were on a waiting list. The group was able to also hand out donations from the Incredible Toy Company in Blowing Rock. Additionally, staff members distributed items to other students who picked up meals from the town of Boone that were not able to be used at the Jones House event.

Hospitality House announced in a social media post on April 10 that it was able to put together 120 Easter bags for residents with the generosity of donations from Mast General Store. Bags included circus peanuts, dark chocolate malt balls, Charleston Chews, chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies and bandanas so residents can use them as face masks.

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