Kathy Best as the Blue Easter Bunny. Ed Johnson, KP News

The Blue Easter Bunny has been giving away candy at the Boy Scout Easter egg hunt for 35 years.

It all began with a rummage sale where Kathy Best bought a suit of turquoise blue fleece-footed pajamas, just right for a women’s retreat she was to attend, she thought. She found it was too warm to sleep in, so on returning home, decided to turn it into a bunny costume.

When finished, her 10-year-old daughter asked what she was going to do with it.

“I’m going to parade around Lake Holiday in it,” Best said as a joke. Aghast, her daughter dared her.

“Come Easter Sunday, I did just that,” she said, and to add to her daughter’s embarrassment, she

“just showed up” at the Easter egg hunt at the civic center, too.

“My daughter, meanwhile, was home praying no one would recognize me as her mother in that garb,” Best said, but she was invited to return the next year.

“That was the start of my one-day-a-year volunteer career,” she said. “The young families, grandparents and all the kids have been my inspiration to continue.”

Best carries a basket of candy and gives a piece to each child who comes to her. When the hunt is complete, she empties her basket with a toss and the children scramble for it in the grass.

A foot injury and knee replacement surgery haven’t prevented Best from continuing her pleasant duty. She uses a cane and continue to manage her job.

“I do realize the time will come for me to bunny-hop out of the big picture and hopefully find a young bunny to carry on the tradition,” she said.

“In the meantime, I’m looking forward to hopping down the bunny trail next year, and maybe have a sidekick to show the ropes to.