The spirit of Halloween took over College Avenue the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 31 for the first ever Trick or Treat on Greek Street.
Though the event did not attract a large crowd in its first year, Greek life participants at each of the fraternity houses along College Avenue were enthusiastic.
Brittany Cote, Philanthropy and Risk Management chair of Panhellenic Council, spent about a month planning for the Halloween event. Being that it was in its first year, she was aware community response might turn out low. Regardless, Cote was hopeful and said, “this is year is a test run.”
Cote spent time contacting local schools and recreation departments as well as putting up a few flyers around town.
In an email, Cote reported that not “many kids show[ed] up but we feel that because it was our first year, it was more about showing that we could do a great job at this and getting the word out for next year.
“The chapters did an amazing job in decorating their houses and participation and that’s all the councils could really ask for this year,” Cote added.
Cote reported “a good response from Old Town Rec.,” as she pointed to many pumpkins on display, saying that they were all donated by the Old Town Recreation Department.
The gesture was “unexpected, but the director there is awesome,” Cote said of Kevin McPhee, director of recreation for Old Town.
Participating fraternities and sororities were matched up to prepare games and activities at each of the houses on College Avenue. Cote reported that the hardest part was thinking of new and creative Halloween activities beyond the typical ghoulish game of bobbing for apples.
Scott Burian, philanthropy chair of Phi Kappa Sigma, and Corey Lynn Morton of Alpha Omicron Pi both wanted to be creative in thinking of an event that was going to be good for kids. In response, they came up with an activity they called “dress the zombie” where the plan was for participants to race for the fastest time to wrap one of the brothers in toilet paper.
Both Burian and Morton agreed that whether or not there was a good turnout of children and their families, it was a great idea to “break down the barriers about Greek life,” Morton said.
Although the event attracted only a few families, it “is a great way for the community to think better about Greek life,” Burian said.
Morton also noted that the event was not a fundraiser of any sort; it was specifically put on to reach out to the surrounding Orono community. The event enabled members of Greek life to put their best foot forward and show the community their commitment to philanthropy. “[We] are reaching out to more people than just the parents and family of Greek life,” Morton said.
Despite the low turnout, all stayed positive and hopeful for next year. “It was good at our fraternity, we had a couple kids that participated in wrapping some of our brothers in [toilet paper] for the dress the zombie game,” Burian said in an email. “Hopefully next year it will get more attention,” he added.