‘Trunk or Treat’: A spin on traditional trick or treat

A group of individuals gathered together during ‘Trunk or Treat’ 2013.
Trunk or Treat

By Tracy Geibel
Staff Writer/Spectator

“Trunk or treat” isn’t the phrase traditionally associated with Halloween celebrations, but it is what children chant on Oct. 29, as they parade around the Our Lady of the Lake Church Social Hall’s parking lot. 

Bunnie Shinsky, religious education director at the church, originally got the idea from her sister-in-law, who had a similar event in Texas.  

Shinsky explained that about 70 students in kindergarten through sixth grade dress up and receive candy from the approximately 30 cars in the parking lot. 

“We line them up so that the trunks are open side by side,” Shinsky said.

Those who pass out candy to the children bring their cars to the social hall at 4 p.m., and the children go “trunk-or-treating” about an hour later. While most of the cars in this event belong to parents, other parishioners and Edinboro students also participate. 

Marielle Moss, who has previously participated in this event, gave insight on setting up and how it unfolds. 

“Set-up probably took like a half hour, but when the kids actually came to trickor-treat, it went by so quickly,” Moss said. 

Moss is the president of the Newman Club and sent out emails and Facebook messages to find people interested in helping. 

“I’ve opened it up to anyone who wants service hours, like Honors Club, (or) people who are in fraternities or sororities,” Moss said.

The Catholic campus minister, Pam Gent, supported this idea of getting others involved.

“There’s some other kids interested in doing it because it’s a fun way to get service hours,” Gent said.

Megan Dulion, Edinboro student and event planner for the Newman Club considers this a fun event for anyone to participate in.

“As an early childhood and special education major it sounded fun,” Dulion said, “and who doesn’t want to dress up and hand out candy?”

The Newman Club works closely with the Our Lady of the Lake Church, as it is the Catholic affiliated group on campus.  However, Moss stressed that the club is open for everyone to participate.

As the event planner for the club, Dulion handled the car decorations for Trunk or Treat. 

“The car is going to be a monster’s mouth with teeth and eyeballs,” Dulion explained.  “It’s going to be funny.”

This was a little different than the decorations for previous years.  Moss said that in the past they decorated with pumpkin cut-outs, spiders hanging from the hatchback, and “just the regular old Halloween stuff that you find at a dollar store.”

Shinsky explained that the most common themes were fall and Halloween and that occasionally people will match their costumes with their car decorations.

“Once we had a farmer and his wife and they had their car decked out like a farm,” she said.

Not only do the children dress up, but nearly all the adults who decorate their cars also do.  Dulion and Moss had plans to be flappers, but since Moss may not be able to attend, Dulion is considering dressing as Mary Poppins.

Moss said that last year, one of the group members dressed in an inflatable costume to be a “fat highlander.”

Gent plans to dress her dog, Lucy, for the occasion. 

“She has a fairy costume, (and) she has wings and a little hat, if she leaves them on,” Gent said.

In fact, seeing the different costumes, especially the children’s costumes, is Moss’s favorite part.  Dulion agreed. 

“I love interacting with the kids and seeing all their costumes,” Dulion said.  “They are so cute.”

Shinsky enjoys seeing all the costumes, but also enjoys her role because she gets to see the excitement from both the children and the adults.

“I like to watch the anticipation before the kids get out there,” Shinsky said, “from both the kids and those who have decorated their cars.”

She expressed that the parishioners, even those without children in the program, often get involved in this event. 

“Something as simple as handing out candy can bring a faith community together,” Skinsky said.

Besides the Trunk or Treat event, the Newman Club also is involved in several other events. Students recently went to Lady of Our Lake Church for adoration and returned from the club’s second 2-day retreat at WLD Ranch with Newman Clubs from nearby campuses.  

Additionally the club holds frequent dinner and discussions and has a Parent’s Night Out in the coming weeks.  Dulion especially enjoys this because the children from Trunk or Treat often are the same children that the club will see in the coming weeks.

“When we host Parents Night Out in November we see some of the same kids again,” Dulion said.

Tracy Geibel is staff writer for The Spectator. She can be reached by lifestyles.spectator@gmail.com