Belmont Greeks and athletes brought trick-or-treat fun to an area that hadn’t seen an organized Halloween celebration in several years with the first Edgehill Family Halloween Sports Night on Oct. 29 at E.S. Rose Park.
“The last time we did a Halloween party in the community was over 16 years ago. We had a lot of people to come out, but the problem was that we couldn’t get a lot of volunteers from the residents, and at that time we weren’t doing partnerships with students. This year was a pleasant change. I like the fact that we are partnering with students for them to volunteer and help out with different events because everything goes like clockwork,” said Edgehill Family Resource Center Director Brenda Morrow.
Phi Delta Theta and Phi Mu spearheaded the Halloween night as their community service event with 130 student volunteers. They partnered with the Edgehill Rose Park Walking Club and the Easley Community Center.
“Belmont students were excellent and always asking us if we needed anything. They set up booths and passed out fruit and candy and did face painting so the kids enjoyed Halloween. I think the grown people had more fun than the children because I saw adults walking around with costumes and door prizes,” said Edgehill resident Sandra Chandler.
“It was amazing and a huge success. It was a positive experience to have a night to play and face paint and color with the kids and give them free candy. This was the start of something really good, and we want to make it an annual event,” said Brock Fuller, social chair and chaplain for Phi Delta Theta.
More than 400 Edgehill residents, students and other community neighbors attended the outdoor Halloween party. Many children wore costumes, and Belmont Greeks and athletes helped some children make Halloween costumes and design trick-or-treat bags. There also was candy, health snacks, face painting and several sport-related activities including zumba, kickball, soccer, basketball and pumpkin bowling.
“We wanted to approach community service in our organization from a social stand point,” said Hillary Unis, social chair for Phi Mu. “When we were younger, trick-or-treating was not a safety issue. We wanted to provide that same opportunity to children in the community so that they could have those same Halloween memories.”
Belmont Athletics, Belmont Sports Administration, the School of Pharmacy, the Office of Community Relations, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Nashville RBI, Fifth Third Bank, Dollar General, Tender Care, Metro Police, the Council on Aging and Amerigroup have donated food, gift cards and other items and volunteers to support the Edgehill Family Halloween Sports Night.
“Several families were brought to tears. It was really good to see relationships being developed,” said Assistant Director of Athletic Operations Michael Graffin.