November 2, 2012
Franklin Pierce University has welcomed local children and their parents from the Monadnock region for a campus trick-or-treat Halloween event for the past 15 years. This year’s Halloween celebration was delayed for a couple of days due to Hurricane Sandy, but perhaps the wait made it all the more enjoyable for the estimated 800 children and family members who trick-or-treated on campus on Thursday, Nov. 1. The event was sponsored by the University’s department of residential life and the Classes of 2013 and 2014.
All local children in 6th grade or younger were welcomed to attend the event and were asked to bring a parent or guardian, according to Christopher Johnson, the University’s senior experience director for residential life. “We reach out to our neighboring towns: Rindge, Jaffrey, and Fitzwilliam,” he says, “and we get a big turnout on campus.”
About 98 Franklin Pierce student volunteers stepped up to the plate to dish out candy, decorate, and help kids and parents navigate campus and direct them to the right places -- many of them decked out in imaginative costumes of their own. “We hosted 79 candy station stops around campus, all manned by student volunteers,” Johnson says. “The student volunteers are sometimes members of student clubs or sports teams, but often they are just individual students who see the annual event as a lot of fun.”
Johnson says the University’s trick-or-treat event is not meant to serve as an alternative to the local towns’ own Halloween activities. “I call the superintendents in each of our neighboring towns to make sure I pick a night when they don’t already have something planned in their own schools or community.” He says he also starts getting inquiries from neighboring families, starting in September. “They want to make sure their kids don’t miss our event,” he says.
While the University buys more than half of the treats, Johnson points out that student volunteers usually pitch in to provide the rest through class sponsorships. “They may also consume a little of the candy themselves, which is all part of the fun,” he says, “and they really do enjoy meeting all the kids and their families who travel to campus, each year.”
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