One of the greatest times of the year for the young and young at heart is Halloween. Who doesn’t love dressing up and getting as much candy as you can? Some people enjoy decorating, some the costumes and others the candy.
A Tradition Begins
The St. Louis Center residents like Halloween too. To be sure that all of them can enjoy the fun of the holiday, a Trunk or Treat is hosted on the Center’s campus. Thomas Arbanas, St. Louis Center HR Director, was the driving force behind this fun community event. The first year felt like a great success. There were 26 cars with volunteer handing out candy. The response was amazing and the event gained popularity.
The following year the entire staff lent their talents and the results were even better: Spooky food was served in the main building and indoor Halloween themed activities were set up for the residents to enjoy. 2016 was also the first year that staff members created a walk through Haunted House not only for the residents to enjoy, but all of the visitors from the community.
In 2022 the popularity of the Trunk or Treat was quite apparent. After weeks of planning, inviting and decorating the October 26th event was underway. The staff set up a “Haunted Hall.” The kitchen planned and prepared a spooky meal not only for the residents, but for everyone who attended. There were Halloween themed activities and of course plenty of treats.
The event drew 37 vehicles, a dozen or so volunteers, and even a DJ. The kitchen served over 300 meals which included ‘bat wings’, ‘blood clots’, ‘chunky intestines’, ‘graveyard goo’, and ‘agent orange punch.’ Everybody enjoyed the food before checking out the other activities.
After dinner, the Haunted Hall was the favorite destination. The St. Louis Center Direct Care Supervisors organized this endeavor. They had different staff decorate some of the rooms and arranged for ‘actors’ to help make the experience frightful. Many of the community members who attended the event raved about how well done and truly scary the Haunted Hall was.
While the Haunted Hall was terrifying all who dared to enter, Halloween games and activities were also offered for those who were not up for the scare. They got the chance to color Halloween pictures, knock over the ghosts, ring the witch hats and dig through the sensory bin for toys and treats.
The headlining event was the Trunk or Treating happening out front. There was plenty of treats to be had. Participants were also quite creative with their trunk decor. The Addams Family made a showing, Captain America, Cookie Monster, some punk rockers and plenty of skeletons and Jack O’ Lanterns adorned the trunks. HB Fuller Adhesives Company sent some of their staff to be sure the fun was at a maximum with the DJ sounds of Dan Hutchison and his dancing dinosaur.
Prizes were awarded to the top two Trunks. Second place went to the HB Fuller Cookie Monster and DJ combination. First prize was reserved for the amazing efforts of Chelsea’s own ‘Addams Family.’
A Team Effort
Many Thanks to all who participated by volunteering their time, candy and talents.
The entire community had a great time dining, dancing, getting tricks and treats. We cannot wait to host this event again next year.
Highlights from the Winter 2023 Issue of St. Louis Spirit
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