Church holds Hal­loween event for kids

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Kristi Garabrandt kgarabrandt@news-her­ @Kris­ti_G_1223 on Twit­ter

Hope Ridge United Methodist Church, 9870 Old John­ny­cake Ridge Rd. in Men­tor, was filled with hun­dreds of kids in cos­tumes play­ing games and col­lect­ing candy Oct 29.

The an­nual Trunk-or-Treat al­lowed kids the op­por­tu­nity to play games, get their faces painted, col­lect candy and pose for photos in front of an back­ground with pump­kins, all while lis­ten­ing to live en­ter­tain­ment pro­vided by the Hope Ridge Praise Team.

Pas­tor Beth Wil­ter­dink es­ti­mates that this is ap­prox­i­mately the eighth year for the event

which keeps grow­ing from about 50 kids at­tend­ing the first year of the event to over 400 now at­tend­ing.

“It’s re­ally been a great con­nect­ing point with the com­mu­nity,” Wil­ter­dink said. “It’s been a good way to serve the com­mu­nity; and we have en­joyed mak­ing the connections. It’s also been a great way to bring to­gether all the things we do in the church.”

In ad­di­tion to the church, there is also com­mu­nity in­volve­ment from the Con­cord Town­ship Fire Depart­ment and the Lake County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, who were present at the event with a fire truck, res­cue squad and a SWAT ve­hi­cle.

“It’s a great way for us to show the equip­ment that the sheriffs of­fice has, and that we are friendly and that the sheriffs of­fice and law en­force­ment are here to help chil­dren” Mike Warner, cap­tain in charge of com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­vi­sion for the Lake County Sheriffs Of­fice said.”

For Matt Sabo, chief of the Con­cord Town­ship Fire Depart­ment, its a way to get in­volved in the com­mu­nity, a chance to teach the kids a lit­tle about fire safety and a chance to let them see the trucks.

“We don’t want an emer­gency to be the first time they see one. And the equip­ment be­longs to the com­mu­nity, so it should be out in the com­mu­nity,” he said.

Amy Sak, of Men­tor, whose chil­dren Hunter, Tyler and Ash­ton at­tend preschool at the church at­tended the event with her kids just for some fam­ily to­gether time.

Lind­sey Pease, of Painesville, brought her daugh­ter Ry­lyn, 7.

“I love it; it’s su­per cute,” Pease said of the event.

Wil­ter­dink de­scribed Trunk-or-Treat as an op­por­tu­nity to wel­come the com­mu­nity into the church and work with other part­ners in the com­mu­nity such as Project Hope, and the Painesville Free Clinic who were ac­tive in the event along with first re­spon­ders and law en­force­ment.

“It’s a way to do some com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion and out­reach,” Wil­ter­dink said. “For us it re­ally is a way to build re­la­tion­ships with our neigh­bors.”


Scotty Blair Jr, 14 months, falls into a kid­die pool full of corn at the Hope Ridge United Methodist Church Trunkor-Treat event, Oct. 29.

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