More than 100 children from the city of Rochester visited UR for a Halloween celebration hosted by the Tiernan Project and Sigma Beta Rho fraternity.
“The children came from different community centers and shelters, especially battered women’s shelters,” Take Five Scholar and member of SBR Mubarek Said said. “They can’t be walking around their neighborhoods at night, so this gave them a chance to experience trick-or-treating.”
The children dressed in costumes and first visited the Scare Fair in the Rush Rhees Library. Student volunteers gave tours of the library.While this was going on, free food and games were also available in Douglass Dining Center.
“They were adorable,” Tiernan Project President and senior Lauren Kessler said. “There was a magician walking around, face painting and pumpkin decorating. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it.”
The day ended by trick-or-treating through the Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls. Over 200 students living in Sue B. volunteered their rooms to be part of the trick-or-treat route.
“We have done events like this in the past, but this year it was much bigger,” Kessler said. “It gave students a chance to get out of the shelter, see something that is fun and do something that isn’t necessarily related to something that is going on in their life.”
Said recalls that each child was accompanied by their mothers – no fathers were present.
“The moms got a chance to sit back and watch their kids have fun,” Kessler said. “They could talk to the other women and the UR students. I think they really appreciated that. We have some shelters that have been taking part in this for a few years now, so you get to know some of the people.”
When the children left on the bus at 9 p.m. with their candy and goodie bags, they were all very excited.
“I knew everything went well when a kid came up to me at the end and said ‘This was the best trick-or-treating,'” Said said. “This event really created a family and support.”
Both groups, along with the Community Service Network and the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, which also helped to sponsor the event, hope to expand this event even more in the future.
“We want to try to make sure we can reach out to the 19th ward because they’re so close,” Kessler said. An partnership was attempted, but fell through.
“There are so many things happening, and it is our mission to bring the university and community together,” Said said.
Paret can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.