Downtown merchants partner with Boys & Girls Club for Trick or Treat

WESTFIELD – Halloween festivities are still on this year — with a socially-distanced twist – and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield is partnering with downtown merchants to host trick-or-treaters.

The Club will offer candy during a drive-through event at 28 West Silver St. from 12 to 2 p.m. on Oct. 31, thanks to the efforts of Westfield merchants.

Lerryn Godden, the Club’s finance director, said for the past 26 years, the Mayor’s Office and The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield have collaborated for the “Annual Downtown Trick or Treating.”

“This year, due to current restrictions, we are asking all downtown merchants who normally host trick or treaters at their businesses to buy candy and drop it off at Park Square Realty at 44 Elm St. downtown. Volunteers will meet in advance to assemble individual bags to be offered on Halloween from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield,” said Godden in a press release.

Godden said Ted Cassell of Park Square Realty reached out to her to see what they could do.

Past participants in the Rag Shag Parade and Downtown Trick or Treat are pictured. Although the celebration will be different this year, the Greater Westfield Boys & Girls Club will distribute candy for downtown merchants on Halloween. (Photo by Carl E. Hartdegen)

“It’s been a tough year for children and when Ted called me, we began thinking about how this could work,” Godden said.

They knew the traditional event, where costumed children parade through downtown and go door-to-door to participating merchants for candy, would not work during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, families can drive into the Club to receive a bag of candy for each child.

“I’m hoping our merchants will volunteer to dress up and hand out candy,” Godden said. “I am sure they will – they love this event.”

Any interested merchants are asked to contact Godden at the Boys & Girls Club at 413- 562-2301 or via email [email protected]. Anyone who provides candy, or any monetary donation towards purchasing the candy,  will be included with all other contributors on each individual trick or treat bag.

“We are grateful to the downtown merchants who have supported this event for so many years, and look forward to ensuring that this year, our children have an opportunity to dress up in their costume and trick or treat from the safety of their family vehicle,” said Bo Sullivan, Boys & Girls Club director of advancement.

Celebrating Halloween at the Boys & Girls Club dates back to the Club’s beginnings on Free Street. Godden said there will likely be a Halloween party in some fashion for the afterschool program this year.

Merchants who have already committed to the event include Park Square Realty, Cassin Insurance, Mama Cakes, Two Rivers Burritos, Responsible Driving of Westfield, Blended Vintage Marketplace, Community Church of Westfield and Robert Walker Law Office.

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