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Trunk-or-Treat so kids can eat

Theatre department hosts community event
NHS+sponsor+Deneb+Estrada+awaits+his+plunge+into+the+dunking+booth+during+the+Trunk+or+Treat+event.
Norseman Staff
NHS sponsor Deneb Estrada awaits his plunge into the dunking booth during the Trunk or Treat event.

Candy wrappers crunch under the feet of costumed kids. Joyous chatter fills the air. The sound of spooky music streams through the parking lot. The community celebrates its 6th year of Trunk-or-Treat and collects 2392 pounds of canned goods during this event hosted by the theatre department and manned by several organizations.

Student ambassador junior Jamie Castrellon helped set up booths and run games during the community event as a way to give back.

“Events like Trunk-or-Treat provide candy and fun for kids,” Jamie said. “Going around after dark and collecting candy is a little sketchy nowadays, so doing that in a safe environment with security provides kids with opportunities that some of them may not otherwise have.”

Senior Tristan Brown also helped with the Trunk-or-Treat, running the National Honor Society booth and acting as one of the dunkees for the dunking booth, a game that was a hit amongst teenagers and younger kids alike.

“After participating in Trunk-or-Treat last year, I wanted to do it again because of how much fun it was,” Tristan said. “It’s also a great way for younger kids to see ways they can get involved when they get to high school.”

Senior Grace Dubose is a theatre officer, and helped with both the theatre Trunk-or-Treat booth and the haunted house.

“I think events like Trunk-or-Treat are super important because they have a dual purpose that benefits the community,” Grace said. “People donate canned food to help ensure that kids have food, and the event also provides an opportunity for families to come out, get candy, and have fun.”

Many of the students involved appreciated that they were able to both have fun and give back to the community.

“It’s important to give back to the community,” Tristan said. “Working the event allowed me to impact the community directly by providing entertainment and joy while also helping provide food for the Brazos Valley Food Pantry to distribute to local families.”

Students in the Viking Mental Health Awareness club also looked for ways to reach out to people in the community beyond the candy and games.

“We wanted to host something fun for the kids,” senior Isaac Neideffer said. “We also wanted to impact the parents because we hoped they would see high school guys who really care about mental health and understand that mental health is an issue and something they should invest in with their own child as they grow and develop.”

With the success of events like Trunk-or-Treat, students said they feel like they are contributing to something larger than themselves and are able to make a real impact on the community.

“I know a lot of people who live here and are unable to take care of themselves because of mental health issues that keep them from working or have difficulty getting government documentation which makes getting food hard,” Isaac said. “Sometimes the government doesn’t seem to be able to cut it or people don’t have the resources to go through the government channels and getting food locally is the best option for them.”

Theatre director Braedon Lawless helped oversee the haunted house hosted by the Bryan High Thespian Troupe.

“As a director, I liked how putting all the pressure onto the students let me see how they reacted in crunch time moments and how they persevered through challenging times,” Lawless said. “They ran into things that my co-director Gamble and I run into all the time with people not showing up or things not working, and they would have to solve the issues and work through them.”

As an officer for the thespian troupe, Grace led and designed many parts of the haunted house.

“This is the second year that we’ve done the haunted house, and I organized it last year too, so watching it come together and grow since last year was great,” Grace said. “Knowing that I helped found it originally and watching it become even more of a tradition meant a lot to me.”

As with most projects, the second time allows for more fine tuning and attention to detail, and the haunted house was no different.

“One of the biggest changes from last year is that we had more time to work on it this year,” Lawless said. “It was more of a whim last year, but this year we planned it from the beginning; so this year the kids started planning the event in July.”

Last year’s haunted house had a positive response from teens, but it scared some of the younger children, and the theatre group aimed to make it more inclusive this year.

“The community asked that we make it more child-friendly, and we listened to them because we think it’s important that the community has something like this for families to take their kids to,” Lawless said. “The haunted house was kind of gateway-scary and a good introduction to a haunted house. It also allowed us to showcase to the community that we want to make a real impact and make sure kids have food while also exposing them to where we perform and create.”

The haunted house earned $642 which will help fund the theatre troupe directly and allow them to grow and develop as a group.

“All of the money made from the house goes back to the troupe and back to our student program through our school account,” Lawless said. “Every dollar that they made goes to the students’ social functions, like a pumpkin-carving party.”

Both the haunted house and Trunk-or-Treat events were a success, serving thousands of parents and children, and positively impacts the community as the canned goods are distributed.

“By collecting canned goods through the event we were able to give back and serve the community in an important way,” Jamie said. “Trunk-or-Treat had a positive impact on the people attending and working the booths as well as the community as a whole.”

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