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This week’s edition!

Easter candy toss

Harry Harris tosses bags of candy to Lila Clarke of Auburn, sitting in a wagon being pulled by her father, Will. (Tsukroff photo)

Story and photos by Nathan Tsukroff, PortraitEFX of Maine

Social-distancing might have impacted Easter in various ways, but Phoenix Academy of Martial Arts found a way to brighten children’s Easter.

Instead of an Easter egg hunt, Harry and Donna Harris did a drive-up candy toss—with proper distancing—for students of their dojo, Phoenix Academy of Martial Arts.

While they had closed operations at their dojo on Center Street in Auburn several weeks ago as part of the required social-distancing in Maine, the Harrises looked for ways to connect with their students. A drive-up candy toss was an easy way for them to share with others, while keeping folks safe from possible infection with the Covid-19 virus.

The Harrises have been sheltering at their home on Pride Avenue since the temporary closure of their karate school. They invited the families of their students to drive past their house on the morning of Easter Sunday, so the younger students could have fun catching bags of candy tossed in their direction.

Cars were lined up for about a block, slowly rolling up to the end of the Harris’ driveway. Some of the car simply stopped and opened windows, while students stepped out of several of the cars to hold up their Easter baskets. Harry and Donna, both wearing medical gloves, tossed bags of candy through the open car windows, or directly to the youngsters who stepped out of the cars.

After catching two bags of candy, the windows closed, students returned to their cars, and the families drove around the block for another round of candy catching. 

This continued for about an hour, until the Harrises had given away all the bags of candy.

Donna Harris said she had checked with friends at the Auburn Police Department and was told this candy toss would be acceptable for their dojo students as long as the six-foot rule was strictly enforced. Ropes and a table clearly separated the Harrises from the cars, ensuring everyone stayed as safe as possible. 

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