By Catt Lovins, Key Club International Vice President
Since 1994, Key Club International has been a proud participant in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. This year, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF funds will support The Eliminate Project, and Key Clubbers are more excited than ever to contribute to the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus.
As an example, Pinnacle High School Key Club in Phoenix, Arizona is holding its fifth annual Spooktacular for UNICEF event. It was created in 2007 after the club’s officers attended their divisional training and learned about Key Club International’s service partners. Inspired and motivated, Lexi Wallace, a club officer, took the idea of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and expanded it to a full blown Halloween carnival that has now become a school tradition involving the local community.
Over the past five years, as the carnival has grown in size and attendance, the funds raised for UNICEF have increased each year. The event raised US$5,000 in 2009 and US$7,000 in 2010, which went toward UNICEF’s Operation Uruguay. This year, all funds will support The Eliminate Project, and our goal is to raise US$8,000.
Spooktacular provides a Halloween-themed carnival atmosphere for elementary school-aged children that incorporates the spirit of service with Halloween fun. Each year attendees can expect fun booth games, a bounce house a kiddie train and a haunted house. Not only do community members attend, but they also help our Key Club with the event. Campus clubs, other Key Clubs and Kiwanis Clubs sponsor various booths and contribute to Spooktacular’s success.
The UNICEF booth is one of the most important booths at Spooktacular. It is here that attendees learn about the program they are donating to as well as what else they can do to support the project.
Each year, there is live music and multiple contests at the haunted stage. In the past, the Spooktacular has had student musicians, as well as an Elvis tribute artist perform. There is typically one contest every hour, such as a monster mash freeze dance, mummy wrapping and costume awards.
If someone gets hungry or thirsty, there is a Spooky Snack Bar waiting for them to purchase a snack. Guests can purchase snow cones, popcorn, pizza, cookies, chips and other snacks that benefit The Eliminate Project. This is made possible by the wonderful local restaurants and grocery stores who donate food to our cause.
Although the event requires a lot of preparation, it is one of the best experiences a Key Clubber, or any volunteer, can have. Spooktacular has become a tradition that Pinnacle Key Club intends to carry out to aid UNICEF, The Eliminate Project and all the children of the world.