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Somerset DAC to host Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular

The Somerset School District Disabilities Awareness Committee, which recently changed its name from the Autism Awareness Committee, is hosting the first DAC Halloween Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Somerset Elementary School campus.

The idea for the event came from a Halloween celebration DAC Co-Chair Beckah Whitlock experienced when she lived out west and was something she felt the DAC could adapt to fit its needs.

“I have a couple of friends who live way out in the country where there is no trick-or-treating, and back west we have this kind of community event where the businesses would all come to one spot and everybody would come to that spot and trick-or-treat there,” Whitlock said. “The businesses got to advertise them too and the parents got to figure out what they had in their community. When I brought the idea to the committee they thought it was awesome, so we started organize it.”

The cost for the event is $2 per person, with children under 2 getting in for free. All the activities, including trick-or-treating, will start at 4 p.m. with trick-or-treating ending at 7 p.m. and the rest of the games stopping at 8 p.m.

There will be about 20 businesses with booths at the event handing out candy and other goodies to kids as they walk along a designated trail near the football field.

“The kids will trick-or-treat, to talk to the businesses and interact with a few mascots that we will have who will be surprisingly fun for the kids,” Whitlock said. “Then they will walk up the hill and that is where the pumpkin bowling will be set up if we have good weather. From there, the kids will make their way into the gym and explore the gym which is full of stuff, like bounce houses and an obstacle course.”

Once inside, the kids will also get to compete in a doughnut hole eating contest, walk through a haunted hallway and have their fortunes read by a fortune tellers.

“We are relying a lot on volunteer this year since some of our committee members can’t make it due to how quickly things had to be put together,” Whitlock said. “So, if you would like to volunteer that would be great. We have several high school students that need their community service hours to graduate and we are grateful for their help.”

The DAC is also hoping to bring in the New Richmond National Guard to talk about its programs and take part in a “Scare the Soldier” fundraiser. Kids will get the chance to try to scare a soldier into moving from his or her stance, much like tourists do to the palace guards at Buckingham Palace in London. The funds raised will go directly toward the Wounded Warrior Project.

“The funds we raise from the rest of the event will go to the special education programs for the school district,” Whitlock said. “Last year, we gave $1,000 to technology, $150 to training and $75 to both resources and social groups. Every year we will try to mix things up and meet different needs and provide different resources for the program.”

The event will go on even if there is bad weather outside. The trick-or-treating booths and the pumpkin bowling will be brought into the school to allow the kids to continue to trick-or-treat and enjoy the rest of the events.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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