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2017 News Trick or Treat Extravaganza
November 07, 2017 : OUC's Trick or Treat Extravaganza


An estimated 2,000 children and parents from the greater Chillicothe area stormed the Ohio University Chillicothe Shoemaker Center on Friday, October 27 to attend the 12th annual Trick or Treat Extravaganza (TOTE) organized by students from OUC’s HST 1000 class in conjunction with the Human Services Association (HSA), a long-time student organization.  This community activity is designed to provide a safe Halloween experience for local families.  With activities such as games, arts and crafts, and a bounce house, families tend to return year after year to join in the festivities.

The main attraction at TOTE is always the lengthy trick-or-treat path that lines the upper walkway of the Shoemaker Center gymnasium.  This year, 94 local businesses, social service agencies, city officials, and alumni from OUC’s HST program volunteered to staff 40 tables in the “Treat Alley” to pass out candy and other treats to excited children.  This year alone, HSA spent nearly $2,000 on candy in addition to the candy donations provided by volunteers.  In order to afford this and other event needs, the HSA organized fundraisers throughout the past year including bake sales, hotdog sales, and a community yard sale last June.  Many HST students also directly solicited local businesses for sponsorships and donations.  Major event sponsors included the Ross County Water Company, Nourse Chillicothe Automall, and Molina Healthcare, CareSource, and United Healthcare who not only staffed seven treat tables but also contributed three safety demonstrations to the event.  The arts and crafts area was staffed by The Recovery Council who also provided face painting and popcorn for hungry trick-or-treaters.  “The students and volunteers came together and really nailed it,” said HSA Co-President Chad Hickman. “The looks of amazement on those kids' faces as they walked through the doors made it an experience that will never be forgotten.”

Other event activities included bounce houses provided by Triple Crown that an astounding 994 children enjoyed throughout the night.  Participants also had the opportunity to get a picture with five Star Wars characters, dressed for the occasion, and enjoy a ghostly experience room with special science tricks courtesy of OUC Assistant Professor of Physics, Michael Koop.  While admission to TOTE was free, Good Samaritan Food Network was accepting non-perishable food donations and HSA members collected coats for donation.

HSA advisor and Professor of Human Services Technology, Barbara Mahaffey is thrilled at the success of this annual event.  “I was thoroughly pleased with how the students did a variety of outside of the classroom activities in order to make this event such a wonderful success for so many people,” stated Mahaffey.  Initially called “Halloween on the Hilltop,” this event was an OUC Communications Club activity before the HST program took over the reins in 2006.  After a quick name change and a renewed focus on children, the event has grown tremendously over the years.  Not only is this an opportunity to provide a fun and safe Halloween experience for local children, but it is also an opportunity for HST students to grow and develop as future helping professionals.  HSA Co-President remarked, “I learned a lot about networking and all of the social service agencies within Ross County. It definitely would not have been possible without all the help and support from the students, volunteers, HSA, and local businesses. I am looking forward to next year!”