THE INTER-MOUNTAIN - Athletes from Davis & Elkins College helped make the Halloween holiday a little sweeter for area youngsters as part of an annual trunk-or-treating event Tuesday night.
Several groups of athletes and other students and people associated with the college dressed in costumes, handed out candy and presented child-friendly sports and games in the parking lot near The McDonnell Center. It was all part of the annual event hosted by the Davis & Elkins College Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the college’s Athletic Department.
“This is our third year, and it’s grown and gotten a little bigger every year,” said Jennifer Riggleman, the FCA advisor. “It’s so much fun for the athletes to be able to dress up and interact with the kids. It’s very successful, and a lot of fun for everyone.”
Handing out candy was a family affair for Mandi and Josh Larkin, along with their sons Brody, 1, and Caleb, 4. The family dressed up with a “Star Wars” theme this year. Mandi Larkin, who serves as an assistant athletic director at the college, said they have dressed in a jungle theme and Disney theme in the past.
“I think it’s a good event for the community, and it gives our student athletes a chance to interact with the community … and hopefully the community will come support more of their events,” she said.
One of the youngsters having a good time Tuesday evening was 4-year-old NJ Patella, who was dressed as a police officer. His mother, Ann Marie Patella, who was dressed as a robber.
“My husband (Nick) is the basketball coach, so we come out here every year,” she said.
Meanwhile, many residents throughout the area also took time Tuesday evening to hand out treats for Halloween.
One house near Elkins City Park was decorated with plenty of spooky creatures, creepy decor and animated ghosts that were designed to be scary to all who walked up the path to get candy. Terry Shorr and Mike Caine were dressed in costumes and greeting trick-or-treaters at the house, which belongs to Ruth “Noodie” Runner.
Shorr said Runner’s husband Miles, who died a few years ago, would always put up lots of decorations for Halloween, and they wanted to continue that tradition.
“It’s a way of keeping his memory alive,” Shorr said.