An afternoon sky full of dark gray clouds provided the perfect backdrop for the Rugby Jaycees’ annual Trunk or Treat held on North Main Avenue downtown on Halloween.
Vehicles belonging to local businesses, organizations and churches parked along a section of the street and opened their trunks to offer sweets and other treats to children in the area. At the end of the section near the railroad tracks, Rugby Police and first responders stood by their vehicles and handed out treats to the enthusiastic youths.
“So far we’ve been pretty busy”, said Erica Parsons, who was standing with colleagues from the Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center near an SUV. Parsons, Vona Pogatshnik and TJ Haggerty dressed as underworld figures. “I am Hades”, Haggerty said. “We distributed fruit snacks and comics”, Pogatshnik, who was dressed as a witch said.
In front of the HACTC safe, First International Bank and Trust employees Lynette Vollmer and Matthias Follman were wearing their everyday clothes and warm jackets. “We have Smarties, suckers, all the good things”, Follman said. A haystack stood next to their vehicle to provide a background for parents to take photos of their treats.
Beside the haystack stood Laurie Odden and Ashley Berg, who handed out treats in a car trunk on behalf of the Rugby Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“You look nice and comfortable” Odden said to young people in fluffy suits.
“It’s fun but a little cold” said Odden. âIt looks like we’re used to the cold weather now. I don’t know if we’ve had a trunk here for several years, so for me it’s a bit new. It’s fun to be here. There are a lot of kids running here right now.
Across the street, an SUV belonging to the Sainte-ThÃ©rÃ¨se la Petite Fleur de Rugby Catholic Church organized an exhibition of saints. Little Flower Associate Pastor Reverend John Aerts stood by the exhibit with Sister Mary Ruth Huhn and Sister Jean Louise Schafer to distribute treats and explain the meaning of Halloween – All Hallow’s Eve.
“We have all the saints for All Saints’ Day” Huhn said, pointing to small statues representing saints in the Catholic Church.
“All the saints are with us and we honor them” Schafer said. âWe hope to point out to the children that it is All Saints ‘Day, which really means honoring the Saints, because All Saints’ Day is tomorrow, November 1. So that’s another way to get the message across.
“We are here with Father Aerts and Father Miller”, Schafer said. Reverend Frank Miller, pastor of Little Flower Church, sat inside the vehicle to warm up.
On the same side of Main Avenue, Miss Teen Rugby International Ryli Kuhnhenn handed out small, colorful plastic Pop It toys.
“We made Pop Its with balloons”, Kuhnhenn’s mother, Mandy said.
Dressed in a two-person costume, Sara Radomski awkwardly moved around, handing out treats at Heart of America Medical Center. “I am a grim reaper who has a person in his arms” She said with a smile.
Ashley Wangler of Rugby Jaycees said: âNormally we do Trunk or Treat during the week when there is school, but this year we increased it because it’s a Sunday. This way, children can go to fetch or treat if they wish and go to bed early so they can go to school tomorrow. Wangler was standing by the Jaycees’ exhibit with her husband, Brad. Both wore dinosaur costumes.
The Wanglers said they hoped to see more trick-or-treaters later.
“I think it’s a bit cold, but I hope it gets a bit busier” Ashley Wangler said.