Archive for Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Friends of Library seeking help with Halloween party

October 4, 2006

Trick or treating can't hold a candle to Tonganoxie's annual children's Halloween party.

It's an evening of hayrack rides, haunted houses, games and all the goodies that ghosts and goblins can eat.

And it's free.

But the event, sponsored by Tonganoxie's Friends of the Library, has grown too large for the organization to handle. In 2005, about 500 people attended the Halloween party at the Tonganoxie Historic Site, compared with 300 the year before.

Again this year, the Friends of the Library will sponsor the event, set for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28. But in 2007, if the event is to continue, other groups will have to take over.

"We're hoping very much to get a collaborative communitywide committee," said Sharon Moreland, Tonganoxie library director. "It's so successful that it's outgrown our small group."

Denise Bixby, president of the Friends of the Library, said four or five members meet on a regular basis.

"We still want the event to continue," Bixby said. "It's just that we are feeling the pressure of it becoming a larger event than we can handle on our own."

Bixby said others help with the party. B&J Country Mart furnishes the food, the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission helps, and members of the historical society provide the space and also help with the party.

Connie Putthoff, historical society president, said the event takes work from their members.

"We have to set up the haunted house and that takes some work," Putthoff said. "Then getting all the stuff together, getting it out there and cleaning up afterwards. ... It's a combination of lots of people working together."

The event isn't expensive to put on, Putthoff said.

She said the historical society buys candy, and B&J Country Mart donates candy, as well as the food served. And she said the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce provides apples.

"It doesn't cost us, it's just the work involved," she said.

Tonganoxie Recreation Commission director Gayle Parker said the commission would be glad to assist with next year's event.

"We'd have to have a lot of community support," Parker said. "Even if we took it over, there's no way that we could do it just in-house. We'd have to have a lot of help."

Bixby said she's hoping for volunteers.

"We are looking for a group to step up to the plate and take this and run with it," Bixby said. "It is a great event for the community. Families come out and they have a wonderful time at the historic site."

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