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Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

Center to welcome youngsters for Halloween

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

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

ease?

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

both generations.

"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

for everyone."