by Rachel Hunter
The Gouverneur Trunk or Treat, sponsored by the Community Health Center of the North Country and Seaway Valley Prevention Council, in partnership with the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association and Gouverneur Central School District, will be held on Friday, October 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds.
Motorists are asked to park in the Gouverneur Central lot on E. Barney St. Costumed children will then make their way through the fairgrounds entrance between the parking lot and the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair office. They will then walk down the Gouverneur Fair Midway, stopping at each vehicle with decorated trunks and receive their treats.
This is a free community event, and all are invited to attend.
Seaway Valley Prevention Council and the Community Health Center of the North Country hope that the Gouverneur Trunk or Treat will be a fun, family-friendly way to get the word out about what services are available for people dealing with substance use issues.
The idea originated with the Seaway Valley Prevention Council who in partnership with the Massena Drug-Free Community Coalition held a successful Trunk or Treat at Massena High School last year, drawing in hundreds of costumed children. Piggybacking on this rousing success while seeking a fun, engaging way to spread the word in the local community about the services available to those with substance use issues, SVPC and CHCNC thought the best way would be to bring a Trunk or Treat event to Gouverneur.
“That’s why the event is taking place to help people understand the problem is out there and there are resources available through Community Health Center of the North Country, Seaway Valley Prevention Council, and any other organization that offers assistance to those with substance abuse are more than welcome to come and make sure people know that the services are out there,” CHCNC Spokesman Raymond Babowicz said.
Other engaging ways CHCNC and SVPC has recently spread the word about services was talking to fairgoers at the 2018 Franklin County Fair, also at an event in Massena, and they also hosted a presentation at Ogdensburg Free Academy with guest speaker Michael Nerney.
SVPC’s North Country Addictions Resource Center Coordinator Patti Hogle said there was a good turnout at the OFA event, and that they potentially look forward to bringing Michael Nerney to speak to the Gouverneur community in 2019.
The Gouverneur Trunk or Treat is still looking for individuals, community organizations, and businesses to decorate a trunk and hand out “treats” on Oct. 26. “Some agencies are more about wellness, and they don’t want to pass out candy – pass out whatever you want,” Hogle said. “It doesn’t have to be candy.” For more info, call or text Patti Hogle at (315) 713-4861 (work) or (315) 276-9935 (cell), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This is just a safe, family-friendly, fun way for people to get together, enjoy Halloween and get some very positive messaging on the resources available to help families with substance use issues,” CHCNC Spokesman Babowicz said.
Coordinator Hogle also mentioned that one of the things people don’t think about when it comes to trunk or treat is that it is handicap accessible.
“In Massena, they had a girl in a wheelchair, and she never could trick or treat because it was too much work to get her in and out of the car, and she couldn’t get up the steps to the porch,” Hogle said. “So last year she went to the trunk or treat and it was the first time she was able to trick or treat. Even things like that… it makes it special for people that don’t normally have that opportunity.”
Make plans today to attend the first-ever Gouverneur Trunk or Treat, sponsored by the Community Health Center of the North Country and Seaway Valley Prevention Council, on Friday, October 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds. And remember: community organizations, businesses and individuals can still sign up to decorate their trunk and hand out treats to all the youngsters in attendance. For more info, call or text Patti Hogle at (315) 713-4861 (work) or (315) 276-9935 (cell), or email email@example.com.