FREEPORT — Adversity never stopped Santa Claus from making his rounds and it won't stop the Easter Bunny either.

Linda Adams-Foat, owner of Camelot Costumes in Freeport, is going to make sure of that. On Saturday, she and her husband will brighten the days of area senior citizens as they dress up as the Easter Bunny and visit the residents of Freeport's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

While the restrictions involved with the COVID-19 pandemic prevent them from entering the facilities, Adams-Foat will stroll around outside knocking on windows and waving to bring some Easter cheer when it is sorely needed.

"I wanted to do something nice and I saw what Deininger's did with the flowers and thought, 'what could I do' to help?" Adams-Foat said. "We had three shows canceled so our Easter Bunny costumes were available and I thought why not put them to work."

She has easy access to the costumes since her shop is just across the driveway from her home at 1321 S. Demeter Drive in Freeport, and she convinced her husband to put on a costume as well since it will be a journey that lasts about five hours as she intends to visit all of the facilities in the city.

"It will be a long day, but it will be a long day of smiling," she said. "It's personal too because my mom is at Liberty Village and I know she would enjoy it, and it's a chance to get to see her."

Outsiders are prevented from entering the senior citizen facilities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this way she can at least see the smiles of those people they will visit.

"I can't go visit her and I know the days are long for the people there because they can't even leave their rooms," she said. "So I wanted to bring a little cheer to them."

But that's not all she intends to bring. After all, what is an Easter Bunny visit without some candy and Adams-Foat said she plans to fulfill that tradition as well. She will get some help as she is seeking donations of candy or money.

"I'm going to take candy but they have to be individually wrapped. In total there will be 681 pieces of candy," she said.

She put the word out on her Camelot Costumes Facebook page and already the donations have started to roll in. She has placed a box at her shop on Demeter Drive from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will take donations through Friday evening.

"I've gotten a good response so far and if there's any candy left over I'll take that to a few other places," Adams-Foat said.

The Easter Bunny will start out at 10:45 a.m. Saturday at Parkview Home and then hop on over to WinnPrairie after that. Liberty Village will be the next stop and then off to Oakley Courts. A trip to Heritage Woods follows and then it's a long hike to Presence Health Center near Aquin. Finally, the Easter Bunny will finish the journey of cheer with a stop out at Walnut Acres on Walnut Road.

Since Easter is traditionally one of the times when families get together to celebrate many things, it will be especially tough this year with the virus preventing any sort of social gathering. At least senior citizens in Freeport will get to enjoy a few smiles when the Easter Bunny pays a visit.

Todd McKenna is a freelance correspondent.