By HOPE RACINE
Despite the cold and the impending “Storm of the Century,” Sunday, Oct. 28, saw the University of Mary Washington campus covered in flocks of miniature Darth Vaders, Iron Mans, and witches, thanks to Community Outreach and Reasources’ annual Pumpkin Palooza.
The Palooza unites the greater Fredericksburg community by setting up a trick-or-treating route along campus for the community’s children.
Centered in the Great Hall, families checked in and could enjoy various Halloween activities before taking their kids to trick-or-treat in various residence halls. Led by student volunteers, the children visited dorms such as Virginia, Madison, Custis, Westmoreland, Mason and Randolph Halls.
According to Madeline Moravitz, a sophomore in the Elementary Education program, COAR spent weeks planning the Palooza with help from notebooks full of information from years past.
“Each year I feel like we improve, and it helps to look at previous years and learn from what went really well, or what went really wrong,” said Katie Graff, a junior member of COAR. According to Graff, she and other members of COAR spent 10 or more hours a week for almost a month leading up to the event in preparation.
One factor that was not part of the preparations, however, was Hurricane Sandy.
“We expected about 200 people today, but we’ll see how that holds up with the weather and all,” said Moravitz.
It would appear that Hurricane Sandy did play a significant role in attendance, as only about 90 people attended out of the projected 200. However, the volunteers weren’t too disappointed by the lower attendance.
According to Shayda Rezazada, a senior business major and the student director of COAR, though fewer families came, more volunteers than expected made themselves available for the event.
“I’m really proud of how many students came out to volunteer, despite the weather,” said Rezazada.
Though a hurricane was on its way and numbers may have been low, the kids who stomped across campus eagerly begging for candy couldn’t have cared less.