Lawrenceville Hosts Halloween Party
The Community Service Office hosted its annual Halloween Party on Campus for local underserved children last Wednesday, October 31.
The Community Service Office hosted its annual Halloween Party on Campus for local underserved children last Wednesday, October 31. Due to the rain, the event was hosted in the North Court in the Lavino Field House instead of its original location, the Grove.
Stanley House Community Service Representative Sydney McCormack ’21 and Woodhull House Community Service Representative Zach Finacchio ’21 served as co-chairs to the event. They organized the party setup with the help of Director of Community Service Program Rachel Cantlay P'07 '09 '11 and Assistant Director of Community Service Elizabeth Ferguson, planned the activities, purchased materials, and assembled volunteers.
A wide range of activities were available for the children to participate in. There was cotton candy, cookie decorating, various arts and crafts, face painting, basketball games, fishing for ducks, and even a giant bouncy house. The Woodhull House organized its traditional haunted house in the Kirby Arts Center. The majority of student volunteers served as escorts for the 320 kids, leading them from one activity to the next. Many of the Lawrenceville volunteers also already partake in a Lawrenceville Community Action Program, hosting kids they have already formed relationships with from their respective programs.
However, this year, the Community Service Office was lacking a considerable amount of volunteers, unlike previous years, until II Formers from the Junior Varsity Football team and students from the dance program, Lawrenceville’s Girls Tennis teams and Junior Varsity Volleyball team pitched in. Faculty members also volunteered to help run the Halloween Party, driving the children to and from Lawrenceville.
Sneha Kondru ’22 said that her favorite part was guiding her student and helping him through the bouncy house obstacle course. “I’d give him a high-five, and he’d keep going to the next part...and at the end, he’d look for me and smile,” she said. Stella Mulvihull ’21 thought it was “a great way to get out of the Lawrenceville bubble...and a way for us to interact with people outside our [Lawrenceville] community.” On the importance of community service, she said, “Not everyone is as privileged as [we are], and that’s why we need to help others.”Mary Rose Beeken ’22 said the party was “an opportunity for outreach to people you wouldn’t normally be exposed to, and you’re just helping someone to be happier.”
For Cantlay, the party was not as much community service as it was “community engagement.” She called the connection a “two-way street” in which “both the students and the visiting children benefit.”
McCormack echoed similar sentiments. “It’s so much more than the [one time] credit,” McCormack said, “It’s a really good opportunity for Lawrenceville kids to reach out of the Lawrenceville bubble and interact with kids from underprivileged areas all around us. It opens your eyes.”