A Halloween Journey through Many Lands
By SANDRA KINZER
October 31, 2017
The judges, Bett Union-Jakubek, Rita Menzies, and Roxanne Abajian are board members of the local nonprofit Community Connections, an organization that provides services to individuals who need support to live independently within their community. Staff members divided into teams this Halloween for a competition - the challenge, who could create the best theme, including costumes, decorations, treats, and entertainment for the judges.
"I got a golden ticket!", exclaims one of the judges.
They arrived Halloween morning for their journey into several fantasy lands, starting with the Land of the Golden Ticket, created by the Senior and Disability Services team. Team members were dressed as Willy Wonka, Charlie Bucket, and other characters from the iconic movie. The program director even had an oompa loompa costume.
"Come visit our Fizzy Room!". Lela, as Violet, ushered the judges into a blue-lighted room filled with bubbles, soon to be the organization's sensory room.
Downstairs in the Children's Mental Health department, the judges waded through yellow and red balloons, exclaiming at the emojis pinned up on walls and dangling from the ceiling.
Children's Mental Health Program Director Bill Swift narrowed his eyes as they approached - he was an angry emoji, dressed as a pirate.
After making a few notes on their clipboards, the team of judges visited the Early Learning Program, with staff members dress in track suits and black paper taped on the walls to simulate a running track.
One last stop at the front desk, where the administration team had created Troll Town, based on the recent animate movie Trolls. One staff member, dressed as Branch, gathered everyone in a circle and told the great story of Trollstice.
Board member Union-Jakubek laughed at the colorful and rather ridiculous costumes the team had come up with. "They're suppose to be invisible in the community, but if you could see them, you'd be amazed," she said.
Part of Community Connections' mission is to be invisible with regards to the services they provide to their clients in the community, but they are certainly not invisible when it comes to celebrating Halloween in style.
A Trollstice feast, with heaps of rainbow-colored sweets, was available for any hungry trolls passing by and joining in the celebration.
The judges gathered everyone in front of the Trollstice feast table for the trophy ceremony. Community Connections Board President Rita Menzies spoke.
Menzies said, "We want everyone to get a trophy, but that will not be possible. Our winner is... Willy Wonka!"
The trophy was bestowed on Shawn Shotwell, the newly appointed program director of Senior and Disability Services. The team cheered and raised their trophy over their heads -- now they will have bragging rights for the coming year.
Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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