Halloween came a week early to University of Richmond with the 18th annual Trick or Treat Street (TOTS) held on Sunday.
More than 1,000 Richmond community members attended the event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Westhampton Green.
Although the event used to be run exclusively by Greek life, it has expanded to include involvement from any student group. This year, 43 student organizations participated, including fraternities, sororities, sports teams and clubs. The event also featured a DJ from a local radio station, a petting zoo and a bounce house.
“The whole event just has so much energy, and it’s always a great day,” said Fiona Lynch, who chairs the TOTS philanthropy committee. “The atmosphere is amazing, and it’s a fun and safe Halloween environment for the kids in the community.”
Arianna Guillard, a member of the executive board for TOTS, said she appreciated that the event integrated Richmond and the community.
“There’s sometimes concern that we have too much of a ‘bubble’ on campus, but this event really helps to break that bubble,” she said.
Nikia James volunteered with TOTS in the past, and this year she helped with Alpha Kappa Alpha’s sack race.
“I love seeing how excited the kids get when they win,” James said. “TOTS is always such a fun event for everyone involved.”
In order to get the word out about the event, Cassidy Perkins, who chairs the TOTS public relations committee, focused on social media, setting up a Facebook event for the day.
“Facebook was a great way to advertise, because people could see about the event from their friends,” she said. The event was also advertised through flyers, online community calendars and local magazines.
The event had a philanthropy element as well. Although there was no entrance fee, participants were encouraged to bring canned food or a donation to FeedMore. Additionally, food bins were set up around campus for students to donate.
“The food donation bins have been overflowing,” Lynch said. “I am so impressed with the generosity of the student body.”
Freshman Jack Scheutzow said he enjoyed his first TOTS experience. “I had a great time walking around and seeing the kids dressed up and so excited about the event,” he said. “All the tables were a hit and the parents seemed to enjoy the event as well.”
Jane Hiser, a member of the community, first heard about the event two years ago from a friend and has attended ever since.
“It’s a really nice community event that the University of Richmond puts on,” she said. “We’ll be back next year, too.”
Contact reporter Claire Mendelson at firstname.lastname@example.org