Trunk or treat event reaches Ames


Alex Cory/Iowa State Daily

Members of Kappa Alpha Theta participate in Spooktacular Trunk or Treat, a program put on by Community Housing Initiative with the help of the LAS Leadership Studies Program on Thursday.

Alex Cory

The Eastwood of Ames parking lot was filled to the brim with superheroes, villains and other costumed characters for the Community Housing Initiatives’ annual Spooktacular Trunk or Treat event Thursday night.

ISU students from the Leadership Studies Program helped with the event to benefit the children who live at the Eastwood of Ames apartment complex.

Instead of going door to door to trick or treat, the children got to “trunk or treat” by visiting different sponsors’ cars in the parking lot, which were decorated and filled with activities and treats. Sponsors included the Ames Fire Department and Ames Police, who showed up to the event with their own trunks.

Community Housing Initiatives is a statewide non-profit affordable housing agency that works to provide affordable housing to whoever needs it. Eastwood of Ames is one of these properties.

Shara Bradley, Community Housing Initiatives resident services program manager, came up with the idea for the event.

“The idea first came to me because Halloween is my favorite holiday,” Bradley said.

Bradley, who lives in Des Moines, said that while she hears about trunk or treat events all the time in Des Moines, when she asked around about them in Ames, no one knew what they were.

Bradley said she encouraged sponsors for the program to bring healthy alternatives to traditional Halloween candy. Bradley said in low-income households, something called a “food desert” can form, where it is more expensive to eat healthy foods.

“A two-liter of pop and a bag of chips is a lot cheaper than 100 percent juice and some grapes,” Bradley said.

The Leadership Studies Program, which helped at the event, can be taken as a minor at Iowa State, and focuses on developing students’ leadership skills.

Brennan Borgestad, sophomore in pre-business, is a student in the Leadership Studies Program.

“It’s something really cool to see kids having a good time,” Borgestad said.

Amber Manning-Ouellette, lecturer in the Leadership Studies Program, said students have been working with the kids at Eastwood of Ames before the event started as part of the CL PS 270 class. Students have been helping out with the Community Housing Initiatives’ children’s enrichment program by creating academic activities for the Eastwood kids. Students also went to businesses in the community to help gather money for the event.

One of the activities students organized for the event was called Cy’s Apple Orchard, where kids had to pin a worm on an apple to win an apple.

“We’re trying to be creative and give access to healthy alternatives other than chocolate bars and things like that,” Manning-Ouellette said.