Kids find Halloween treats, not tricks, in trunks at Fort Riley

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Kids rummage through a cauldron to pick a piece of candy during Trunk or Treat Oct. 31 in the Commissary parking lot. More than 1,000 kids did their trick-or-treating at the event, which provided a small, controlled environment for families to enjoy the holiday.

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London Tubb, left, son of Sgt. Kyle McCloud, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, poses for a photo after receiving candy from staff of IHG Hotels during Trunk or Treat Oct. 31 in the Commissary parking lot. Tubb’s homemade costume was a box robot.

An early Halloween day snow did not stop more than a thousand trick-or-treaters from attending the annual Trunk or Treat Oct. 31 in the Commissary parking lot.

This year Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers teamed up with USO Fort Riley to see the event was a success.

“Trunk or Treat is an alternative to the door-to-door knock¬ing trick or treat, said Spc. Delano Vankuren, president of BOSS. It is a safer way to do that and a way to build cohesion within the community.”

This year marks the fifth year BOSS has hosted the event, he said. The partnership with the USO came about when they discovered during a meeting they both were hosting a trunk or treat and decided to merge them.

“We came up with an idea … we would just partner together to make this year one of the best we’ve ever had,” Vankuren said.

Volunteers dressed in costumes talked with families and played with children as they waited in line to make their stops at more than 25 vehicles. A few of the volunteers dressed as villains chased one another about and had mock battles with kids.

“It’s great,” said Army Reserve Spc. Aivyn Lopez, 450th Movement Control Battalion, 561st Regional Support Group, 451st Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), 79th Sustain¬ment Support Command, as she waited in line with her daughter. “Everyone can share together — I think that’s the best part.”

About 20 of the vehicles came from Hell’s Finest Hea¬thens, a motorcycle club invited to participate, said Vankuren.

Gabby Brogan, a member of Hell’s Finest Heathens, stood beside her vehicle hand¬ing out candy to kids and complimenting their cos¬tumes. She said this was her first time participating in the event.

“I think it’s awesome to have a safe place for the kids to come out and get a whole lot of candy,” she said of the event.

Due to the cold, kids remained bundled up in coats and wrapped in blankets, but that didn’t stop little dinosaur tails, masks, tiaras and more from peeking out from underneath their layers — the telltale signs that the Halloween spirit kept them determined to push forward and collect their candy.

Alannah Benoit, wife of Sgt. William Benoit, 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Com-bat Team, 1st Infantry Division, said it was because of the cold weather her family opted to attend instead of traveling door to door for sweets and goodies as everything was contained to one area.

“It actually seemed a lot better to do this than take the kids trick or treating with the weather,” she said.

About 90 minutes before the event wrapped up, a costume contest was held and the trunks of the vehicles were judged to determine the three best decorated.

“We also have a friendly competition for the three best trunks,” Vankuren said. “A panel between the sponsors, USO and myself will judge the trunks to see which we think are the best.”

Other Fort Riley organizations involved include Child and Youth Services, the Leisure Travel Center, IHG Hotels. Many individual community members also participated in the event.

“Despite the cold, people are coming out, they’re having a good time,” Vankuren said. “And that’s what matters — the families are having a good time.”

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