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Local

Batavia Lions Club to treat children to Halloween fun

BATAVIA – An early Halloween will arrive with a gentle roar Oct. 28 with spirited help from the Batavia Lions Club, whose members return for a second year to create memorable Trunk-or-Treat fun for the children at Batavia Apartments.

"I had the idea the kids living on the property here should have something cool to do for trick-or-treating," said Nicole Sickafoose of St. Charles, resident service coordinator for the complex. "I went to various partners in the community – the Lions Club loved the idea and took hold of it [and] became my largest sponsor last year."

She said the event was so well-received by the residents that the club agreed to make it an annual party.

"We'll have more cars than last year," said Lori Wilson, a vice president of the club and its lead organizer of Trunk-or-Treat.

She said the project came to the club's attention via community partners including the Batavia schools and the CHIP IN Batavia charity. She and Sickafoose brainstormed on shaping the event open to children through middle school.

Wilson said the decorated vehicles for the inaugural Trunk-or-Treat were arrayed in the circle lot in front of the apartment complex.

"When kids got off the school bus, we had little trick-or-treat bags for them," Wilson said of last year's celebration. "It was a big party atmosphere. We were all dressed up in costume."

She said a friend of the club appeared in a lion costume on roller-skates, and vehicles from the Batavia Fire Department added to the festivities.

Sickafoose expects the fire department to again take part, offering a touch-a-truck opportunity and handing out candy.

"It gives a different atmosphere as far as the emergency personnel," Sickafoose said. "They're there to celebrate and have fun with the kids, instead of [only being on the scene because] something bad happened."

This year's event is timed a little later so that all ages will have arrived home from school. The grade-schoolers will be stepping off their bus to signal the party's start.

In addition to decorated trunks filled with candy for the kids, Wilson said one trunk will hold alternative treats – bubbles, bouncy balls, little items she describes as carnival toys.

"The kids will love it," Wilson said, noting there also will be non-candy edibles such as pretzels available, and some sweets that avoid common allergens.

"The Lions Club is really focusing on the children in Batavia," Wilson said, noting projects extend beyond the traditional club focus on vision and hearing. "We're getting out and trying to do as much as we can. We're about helping the community."

Lions members also have worked on other events to benefit kids at the Batavia Apartments as part of the club's range of service opportunities. To learn more, visit batavialionsclub.org.

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