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Youths trick-or-treat on campus

Jen Rowling | Friday, October 29, 2004

Young trick-or-treaters from the South Bend area ran from dorm to dorm collecting sweets as part of Keenan’s annual “Great Pumpkin” event Thursday.

The event originated in 1997 and now caters to over 100 elementary students from local groups, including the Boys and Girls Club, Teamwork for Tomorrow and Slice for Life.

Keenan residents constructed an eerie haunted house in the dorm’s basement, complete with exorcist music and ghosts, clowns, butchers and wolverines. They also helped the children carve pumpkins.

After the carvings were perfected, Notre Dame students escorted the children as they hunted for treats across campus.

“We are giving an opportunity for underprivileged kids to trick or treat around the ND campus,” Keenan Intra-Hall Commissioner Nathan Catanese said. “This event also provides all the dorms a chance to give service.”

For the first time in “Great Pumpkin” history, every dorm sent volunteers to assist in activities or passing out candy to the children.

“It’s one of the greatest service projects on campus and one of the only service events to ever have every dorm participate,” Keenan co-president Dan Zenker said.

Co-president Ben Kaplan agreed, lauding the opportunities it provides for both children and college students.

“It is not only an opportunity for all the kids that come but also for the students to engage in volunteer and social events,” he said.

Individual dorms attempted to make their dorm an exciting place to visit. Elizabeth Cuda said that Farley passed out medical gloves filled with popcorn and candy corn for finger nails.

“Something more crafty and fun then candy,” Cuda said.

Walsh president Mary Ellen Botta said they had a party in the basement of the dorm for the young visitors. The kids played ‘Stick an Eyeball on Frankenstein,’ decorated cookies, bobbed for apples and smacked the piñata.

“We tried to make it more exciting for them by dimming the lights and putting up strobe lights and cob webs,” Craig Brede, Alumni Hall president, said. “We wanted to have a Halloween night feeling for them.”

“I was really happy with how the ‘Great Pumpkin’ went. The kids seemed to enjoy all the activities from bringing in loads of candy to being enthusiastic with the pumpkin carving and haunted house,” Ed Lerum, Keenan co-president, said.

Shaquille Melchor, a trick-or-treater, was extremely excited to be on campus.

“I am excited to eat candy and to go to Notre Dame someday,” Melchor said.