Harvest Fest brings families to campus for trick-or-treating fun and games

Photo by Karissa Berg  Aya gets a look at the final results of a volunteer's handiwork at the Harvest Fest face painting station.
Photo by Karissa Berg
Aya gets a look at the final results of a volunteer’s handiwork at the Harvest Fest face painting station.

contributing writer

Monsters and minions and monkeys, oh my! The characters were out to play during this year’s Harvest Fest.

On Halloween, the Office of Community Engagement held the community event with more than 350 children and their families in attendance and an estimated 150 students who volunteered to help.

The costumed volunteers walked children and their families from one building on campus to the other. At each building, professors and staff were anxiously awaiting trick-or- treaters to hand out candy.

“Harvest Fest is a fun and safe atmosphere for kids and families in Cheney to come and enjoy,” said Gabby Ryan, Eagle Volunteers Program Coordinator.

Ryan oversees a new program on campus called Eagle Volunteers. This program provides students with volunteer opportunities, like a Harvest Fest tour guide.

“It was so fun to see all of the costumes that they came with,” said volunteer Yesenia Lazaro. “The parents are creative.”

Volunteers were dressed up as anything from members of the Black Eyed Peas to Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

According to Lazaro, who was representing the Alpha Kappa Si business fraternity, this was a great way for clubs and organizations on campus to give back to the community.

Eagle Pride also had members volunteering.

Braden Cooper, from Eagle Pride said, “I always like hanging out with the kids and giving back to the community in any way I can.”

According to Molly Ayers, Director of Community Engagement, all local pre-schools, grade schools and families from Fairchild Air Force Base were invited to attend.

The Office of Community Engagement and the Eagle Volunteers program intend to complete the two or three service projects a quarter.

For those interested in the Eagle Volunteers program, there are also ongoing opportunities within the community. Eastern students may participate as a mentor for a child at one of the Cheney schools or participate in the Feed Cheney program at the Community Center.

The next Eagle Volunteers service project is expected to be for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, according to Ryan.

The Office of Community Engagement took over Harvest Fest from Women and Gender Studies who have run this event in years past. Ayers was extremely pleased with this year’s turnout and is excited to see how the event will grow.

To volunteer for any of the upcoming Eagle Volunteer events, register online on the Office of Community Engagement’s page on the Eastern website. For more information on volunteer opportunities, email Ryan at [email protected]. For more information about the Office of Community Engagement, email Ayers at [email protected].