EATON — Preble County Board of Developmental Disabilities (PCBDD) hosted its annual Track-N-Treat Halloween event on Tuesday, Oct. 22. According to PCBDD staff, for more than 10 years, the board has invited children of all abilities and their families to dress in their favorite costumes and stroll around the Susan Melzer Memorial Walking Path at the A.S.K. Playground, where they are greeted by friendly ghosts and goblins passing out treats.
PCBDD partnered with many community businesses and nonprofits to provide an evening of free family fun that includes hay rides, a petting zoo, crafts, popcorn, and more. All of the activities and candy were donated by businesses and members of the community.
According to Outreach Coordinator Amanda Kopf, this event was originally created as a way for children with developmental disabilities to “trick or treat” on smooth pavement accessible for a wheel chair, walker, or any other equipment.
“After a few years, we decided to open it up to the public so that everyone can have a safe, fun evening where everyone was included. It is important for us to hold this event because it’s a great opportunity for everyone in the community, disability or not, to come together and have a good time,” she said.
“There is a lot of community support for this event. All of the candy and activities are donated by local businesses and non-profits so it costs us nothing to hold the event. We have partners in the community that help us plan for the event too, so it’s an awesome way to collaborate.
“We have children who come trick-or-treat, we have adults who pass out candy, and we have lots of day programs that collect and donate candy to support the event. Halloween is a really fun time and people get excited about dressing up. Everyone has an opportunity to participate in one way or another and we love it. It is one of the events we look forward to all year because we get to hang out with the people we serve and have fun!”
PCBDD would like to thank the Church of the Nazarene and the Preble County District Library for partnering with the PCBDD to help plan the event and collect candy donations. Chris Miley with Miley Construction and Jamie Beneke with Safari Junction have donated their services to Track-N-Treat for many years and the PCBDD is very thankful for them. An additional thank you goes to Drake Heating and Air, Bullen Ultrasonics, Simon Insurance, Skyline Chili, Ace Hardware, Floyd E. Spitler Lodge #158 Fraternal Order of Police, Miami Valley Community Action Partnership, L&M Products, Lawn Plus, and many other community members who dropped off candy for the event. Thank you to the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, Eaton Police Department, and the City of Eaton Fire & EMS for bringing their vehicles and passing out candy.
Superintendent and SSA Director, Bethany Schultz said, “Each year we are overwhelmed by the generous support of the community. We could not continue to make this event bigger and better each year without each and every community partner.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH