SIKESTON - To youngsters, Halloween is a night devoted
to gathering goodies - and lots of them. Yet with bad
memories of past incidents, parents are becoming
increasingly cautious of the holiday.
But what if there was an alternative that would ensure
the best of both worlds, one where children would
receive plenty of candy and parents could rest at
Hunter Acres Caring Center has the solution. The
nursing facility invites children to its Haunted
Carnival from 10-11:30 a.m. Oct. 31 for a time of
ghoulish fun. Although invitations have been sent to
kindergarten and day cares, the free event is for any
child age 10 and under.
"We've had evening trick-or-treating here for quite
sometime on Halloween, but some parents don't feel
it's safe for children to be out that night so we
decided this year to have it during the day," said Kay
Hanks, activities director at Hunter Acres.
"This will be safer and parents can feel better
knowing the candy we'll be giving out will be
perfectly fine, it will all be pre-packaged. I think
it's really going to work well."
Conducted in the facility's large dining room, young
people will be able to visit a variety of
carnival-themed booths. They can bob for apples on
trees, rather than in water, have their face painted,
decorate mini pumpkins, play "Pin the Wart on the
Witch," make skeletons, take part in fortune telling
or a ghost game, enjoy refreshments and much more.
Special guests will be Patti the Gorilla, Cookie
Monster, who'll be handing out individually wrapped
cookies, and the Headless Man.
Although she wants children to have a good time and
enjoy the Halloween festivities, Hanks asks that they
be dressed in non-frightening/non-violent costumes to
keep the atmosphere pleasant.
"This isn't going to be scary," Hanks stressed.
"Nothing about it will be frightening to children, it
will all be fun and we want all children 10 and under
to come and participate in what we've got planned."
Hunter Acres will also participate in Sight Night, a
nationwide event made up of volunteers who collect
used eye glasses. The donated glasses will be cleaned,
repaired and hand-delivered to children and adults in
developing countries. Residents in the community are
encouraged to bring their used eye glasses to Hunter
Acres Caring Center on Oct. 31.
Hanks is enthusiastic about the plans for Halloween,
pointing out it will give older adults and youngsters
a chance to be around each other which is good for
"Our residents love young people and young people need
to feel comfortable around older individuals," she
said. "And, our residents love to see young people
dressed up so they'll enjoy that. We're really excited
about this and I know it's going to be a lot of fun