Mesa Verde Easter Bunny surprises community

In the 35 years since Valerie Torelli, owner and founder of Torelli Realty, has put on the annual Costa Mesa Egg Hunt at Tanager Park it has never been canceled. Until now.

The event, which is a family tradition that usually draws some 500 people, won’t take place due to the social distancing restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Torelli, in a continued effort to give back to the community and make the holiday special determined that the Easter Bunny was “essential.” She came up with the idea to dress in a bunny costume and drive through the streets of Mesa Verde as a way to entertain kids.

“Canceling was better than OK,” Torelli said. “ As things shifted toward a new reality and going somewhere where people thrive, what would be more fun than an Easter Bunny wave?”

After putting the idea out on social media, Torelli received a welcome response from the neighborhood.

“I feel good about doing this because of the gratitude this year from those who have responded to our invitation to sign up for the drive-by,” Torelli said. “It’s so much more appreciated, residents are telling us, ‘what a fun idea’, ‘I hope we’re one of the 75 homes,’ ‘Oh my gosh we would love to have the Easter Bunny drive by our house.’”

Funds that normally go toward this event were sent to a hospital in Cremona, Italy, for needed supplies, including 500 protective suits.