Fay-West churches, organizations hosting alternatives to trick or treating

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 5:51 p.m.

Trunk-or-treat is a unique Halloween idea that is becoming a popular tradition.

In the next several days, churches and various organizations are offering trick-or-treaters a different experience for Halloween.

On Sunday in Connellsville, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is setting up for the seventh time, while Connellsville Area High School's National Honor Society will be hosting a trunk-or-treat event.

“The idea for trunk-or-treat came from my days in seminary when many churches in the area were doing this. Our church here in Connellsville began doing it as a way to reach out to the people in the community in a fun and friendly way. We usually have 10 to 12 people decorating their cars and handing out candy while a dozen or so more help set up, decorate and serve cookies and hot chocolate. In the past we have averaged about 300 trick-or-treaters with 500 being the record,” said the Rev. Chris Stillwell of the Christian Church.

The event takes place in the church parking lot at 212 S. Pittsburgh St. from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday so that church members may participate and then take their children trick-or-treating. Neighborhood children can come by and trick-or-treat with church members before heading out for the city trick-or-treating which immediately follows.

“We use this event to hand out a sticker with our website and church information and to meet and greet our neighbors. We think of it as an opportunity to show love, kindness and joy to people we don't always get to see, but would love to see more,” said Stillwell.

Beth Shreve, adviser for Connellsville Area Senior High School's National Honor Society, said members will host a trunk-or-treat from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the front parking lot of the high school.

“I have a really great group of kids this year who have come up with some fabulous ideas,” Shreve said.

This is the National Honor Society's first trunk-or-treat. All elementary age children are welcome. Dress in costumes.

In the Tri-Town area, the Brownfield Community Center is hosting a trunk-or-treat from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

“This is our third year to hold trunk-or-treat. It is for ages under 13. My daughter, Danielle Anderson, from Madison, Va. brought me the idea. They do it at their high school there. Their whole community gets involved, including businesses,” said Patty Acklin, a member of the center's board of directors and one of the organizers for the trunk-or-treat.

“This is a way that seniors in our community can feel safe. People aren't knocking on their doors and the kids and their parents can stay safe by coming to one area where the cars are parked together. Many of us decorate our trunks and dress in costume. We play music CDs and have fun. We hand out candy from the trunk of our cars. We love it when the kids come by,” said Acklin.

Those who want to be a part of trunk-or-treat need only to show up and open their trunk of goodies. No sign-up is necessary. Acklin said there were 18 cars last year.

Others who help organize the event are June Murtland and Loretta Williams, also both center board members.

They agree that this is a safe way to celebrate Halloween for seniors who bring their cars and the costumed kids.

In Scottdale, a trunk-or-treat will be held on Thursday as part of the Scottdale Public Library's annual Harvest Hoedown.

The event will be held at the Woodcrest Senior Living Community.

Rhonda Allison, children's director at the library, said she has invited groups, businesses and individuals to decorate a car for trunk-or-treat, but some will instead be decorating a table instead in the dining area of the community.

This is the library's Family Fun Night, so it's not a “drop off your child to get candy” event.

“We need people to register their children with the library by calling 724-887-6140 so that we have enough items for all of the children who will be participating,” Allison said. Children are encouraged to dress in their costumes.

The evening starts at 6 p.m. with the showing of the movie, “It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

A craft session is planned, followed by games, face painting, trick-or-treating and Halloween stories to end the evening around 7:30 p.m.

The residents of Woodcrest get into the act by sitting with bowls of candy.

Robin Metzger with Woodcrest said working with the library has been a great partnership.

“The residents just love seeing the children all dressed up for trick-or-treat, and we supply candy for them to pass out,” she said.

Registration for the event should be done by Wednesday. Children who registered are to go directly to Woodcrest at 6 p.m.

In Kecksburg, the Kecksburg Church of God is holding a trunk-or-treat from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

The church is located at 1255 Claypike Road in Kecksburg.

Participants are invited to attend dressed up or not and vote for their favorite trunk, then enjoy refreshments and a bon fire.

Anyone wishing to decorate a trunk and provide treats will be eligible for the “best trunk” prize.

Call the church at 724-423-3076 for more information.

In Normalville, a trunk-or-treat event to be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Millertown Community Church, 224 Millertown Road, Normalville. Trunk-or-treat is for children ages 3 to 12. There will be food and games.

Nancy Henry and Rachel Basinger are contributing writers.

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