Ghosts, goblins, princesses and superheroes were a few among the many costumed children on Friday evening at the 2014 Portage YMCA Trick or Treat Trail Walk.
The anxious and excited trick or treaters waited patiently in a line that stretched from the front door of the YMCA to Willowcreek Rd. to gain entry to this fun event. The walk began in the lobby of the YMCA and made several turns and loops weaving its' way through the facility then out and around the building.
Volunteer table vendors lined the route treating the kids to various goodies. The kids were eager in anticipation of the next stop along the way, and sometimes pausing only long enough for that quick photo opportunity from a family member. Smiles were plentiful as children smiled upon receiving their treats, and adults smiled as they watched the children having a great time!
The Trick or Treat Trail walk is an annual event hosted by the Portage YMCA with the proceeds benefiting their annual campaign. The campaign affords the YMCA the opportunity to give back to the community. It serves the scholarship program which allows membership to the facility, childcare, youth sports, and the pre-school program offered at the organization to those who normally could not afford it.
The smiles on the faces of everyone, not only when they arrived, but also when they left was the highlight for Kathy Catania, Member Engagement Director of the YMCA. "The whole purpose of the "Y" is to strengthen the community," said Catania. "When we hold events like this, not only are our families enjoying themselves together, they get to come and see what the "Y" is all about."
Joshua Burrell, Portage High School freshman and JROTC member was thrilled to be attending and helping with the event, saying "This is a great community event, and I'm happy to be here to help."
The Portage Township YMCA, a non-profit organization, has made great strides in its' improvement of the facility and the services offered over the past year. They expect to continue to improve every year and expressed that these things are all possible because of community support.
Ross Bunchek, Healthy Living Director of the Portage YMCA was elated at the packed house for the event. "This event is about bringing the community together." He estimated the attendance to be approximately 750 people with 400 of those being children. "When the event started a year ago, we had 150 in attendance. To more than double the attendance in a year is fantastic! This event exceeded expectations."
The Portage Township YMCA wishes to thank their many generous vendors and sponsors for this event that included, St. Mary Medical Center, Walmart- Portage, Texas Roadhouse, Portage Fire Department, Portage Police Department, Walgreens, T-Mobile, North Shore Healthcare, Hair Cuttery, Mindful Nourishment, Quaker Steak & Lube, Portage Parks & Recreation, Little Caesers, Texas Corral, Kiwanis, CVS, Strack & Van Til, The Lang Family, Bounce-a-Lot Jumpers by Frank & Melissa Chabes, D.J. Nick Tunez, Portage High School JROTC, and PortageLife. A special thanks to Edwin Gonzalez, Portage YMCA Facility Coordinator and Cassie Wright, School Age Child Care Coordinator for their efforts in preparing and decorating for the event.