La PORTE — There was plenty of pure happiness, candy and the occasional scare at the sixth annual Trick or Treat for Special Olympics at La Porte High School Wednesday night.
Children dressed up and had the chance to visit various stations run by sports teams and clubs from La Porte High School. The groups had an activity and handed out candy at each station. Admission was $5 per child and all proceeds go to Special Olympics.
“It's amazing,” Slicers' girls soccer player Lilly Haverstock said. “It's great to give back to the kids. And just seeing their faces light up after this event is over with, and just seeing the joy we bring them is amazing.”
At the girls soccer station, kids got to kick a soccer ball into a goal.
It was Haverstock's third time helping at the Trick or Treat Night, an event that has raised $2,500 in recent years.
“This year it seems a lot bigger,” Haverstock added. “It's a lot more organized and it just seems very more lively.”
The event began in 2014 as part of the Indiana High School Athletic Association's initiative for student-led community projects and has continued to expand.
The program took place in Slicer Gym, in addition to the fieldhouse and adjoining hallways. All 20 varsity sports as well as roughly a dozen clubs had stations handing out candy. Each stop also included an activity, whether it was shooting a ball with the basketball teams, throwing with the baseball team, or kicking with the soccer teams.
“I love this kind of thing,” La Porte baseball player Nick Moser said. “It helps our sports out a lot, too. It helps our community. It helps us together. It helps us grow. It helps us become one with all the sports coming together, and all the clubs, too.”
At the baseball station, kids had to throw a baseball and try and hit a ghost who was hanging from a backstop.
"It puts a smile on my face, that's for sure," said Moser, who also helped with this program last year. "Because I remember when I was little doing this kind of thing, too. They're not old enough to know where the proceeds are going, but it's just a great time. It's fun for them. It's fun for all of us, too."
Despite there being a $5 admission per child, it didn't seem to deter the size of the crowd.
“It's just great we have people willing to do this and willing to come out to support that cause,” Moser said. “To pay the money. To give that back to Special Olympics is wonderful.”
This event was organized and run by the Slicer Student Athletic Council (SAC).
The Slicers' girls soccer team had several players helping at their station, a testament to the players' willingness to help for such a worthwhile cause.
“It's really cool to have that type of connection and family with your teammates,” Haverstock said. “We do a lot of things together and this is just one of the many things. We hope in the future to do a lot more things like this.”