Trunk or Treat offers safe Halloween alternative

| Friday, Oct. 28, 2011

The Brownfield Community Center has chosen an innovative way to provide a safe, convenient way for local children to trick-or-treat this Halloween.

The organization will host its first Trunk or Treat from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

"This way we can get the entire community involved, because I know so many people want to trick-or-treat but it's hard in the rural area," said Christy Hayes, director of youth services. "We can get everyone together in one place and it's safe."

At this new event, residents are invited to pull their vehicles into the community center parking lot and hand out treats to the kids from their open trunks. Participants are encouraged to decorate their "trunks." Children will be asked to vote for their favorite trunk, which will be awarded a prize. Participants are asked to arrive no later than 3:30 p.m. to have time to decorate before the trunk-or-treaters arrive.

Brownfield Community Center Board President Pat Acklin had seen a Trunk or Treat event in a Virginia community where her daughter lives and thought it would work well locally.

"Because we are so spread out and with the cost of gas today you just can't afford to drive everywhere to trick-or-treat," Acklin said. "What we are trying to do is bring the community to one location."

Acklin said a friendly competition has already emerged on the organization's Facebook page with people challenging each other over who will have the better trunk.

Peggy Dye of Lower Tyrone Township and her daughter Nicole McMasters of Vanderbilt plan to decorate McMaster's husband's truck for the event.

"I got the word my niece was challenging us on Facebook, so now we are more determined," Dye said.

Seniors who do not have a vehicle or do not wish to use it are also invited to come distribute their candy either in the hallways of the community center or alongside friends who have brought cars.

"When you are a senior, it can be kind of scary to have people coming to your home, so this way the seniors can come to the center, mingle with everyone and pass out their candy at the same time," Acklin said.

After they make the rounds outside, children are invited inside for a Halloween dance. At the dance there will be snacks and music provided by Acklin and her husband Bob Acklin's DJ service. In addition, prizes will be given out for costumes at that time.

Prizes for the event have been provided by the community center, Bryan United Methodist Church and the Dawson Grange.

Both events are free to children ages 12 and younger from Lower Tyrone Township and the Tri-Town area of Dawson, Dickerson Run and Vanderbilt.

Registration for vehicles is encouraged but not required. To register, call the community center 724-529-2930.

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