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Spooktacular has larger than expected turnout

Devon Severson, 2, tried pumpkin bowling at the Halloween Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular while his grandparents Bobby and Judy Severson looked on. (Photo by Sarah Young)

The Halloween Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular at Somerset Elementary School was a huge success, said event coordinator Beckah Whitlock.

Whitlock is co-chair of the Disabilities Awareness Committee (DAC) for the Somerset School District, which hosted the fundraising event.

Almost 650 people attended, which is way more than expected, Whitlock said. They raised almost $1,300 in ticket sales.

“We expected anywhere between 100 and 400 people,” she said. “That was just in three hours, from 4 to 7 p.m.”

The event went smoothly, except for a few minor hiccups, such as needing to duct tape together pumpkins for the pumpkin bowling event.

“Next year we know to buy more pumpkins,” Whitlock said. “We learn pretty fast.”

Beside pumpkin bowling and trick-or-treating, kids were able to play in several bounce houses, get “crazy hair” makeovers, participate in doughnut hole eating contests and attempt the creepy haunted hallway.

Fourteen area businesses from Somerset, New Richmond, Stillwater and other nearby communities hosted booths at the event.

Whitlock said more than 20 businesses had signed up to have booths, bus ome had to back out at the last minute.

Booths were awarded different prizes for their decorations, in categories such as “spookiest,” “funniest” or “most original.”

B & J Do I Best Hardware won the prize for “most original booth.” It featured the owners dressed as a deer and a hunter and they had a Plinko game, Whitlock said.

Other booth prize winners include:

--Best Theme:Rainbow Tree Therapies and Beyond Green Building of Hudson.

--Spookiest:Wild Tree representative Shawnah Breault of Somerset.

--Funniest:Junior First Lego League.

--Most Creative:Perfect Reflection of Somerset.

--Kid’s Choice:New Richmond Mom’s Group/Second Home Child Care.

Whitlock said she got the idea for the event because so many people she talked to said they don’t go trick-or-treating or get trick-or-treaters at their homes because they live in the country.

“I got the idea from an event they did back in Idaho,” Whitlock said. “It’s a place where everyone can come and trick-or-treat and it’s free advertising for businesses.”

The money raised from the Spooktacular will be saved until the end of the year and pooled with money the DAC raises from other events, Whitlock said. They plan to host four total.

“We will touch base with the special ed group and see what needs are not being met toward the end of the year,” Whitlock said. “We kind of supplement the program.”

She also said it’s important to help people realize that kids with disabilities experience many of the same feelings and emotions as kids without them.

“Sometimes you focus on the disability so much, you forget what they are like,” Whitlock said.

Sarah Young

Sarah Young was appointed the editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, where she covered community events, spot news and education in Hammond, Roberts, Somerset and St. Croix County Circuit Court. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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