By Joanne Beck firstname.lastname@example.org
BATAVIA — Organizers of a first-time family event this weekend had moderate expectations, Valerie Bello says.
They were not only surprised by the turnout but had to make a quick shopping trip as a result. The Halloween-themed event was to benefit Genesee Community College’s student-run radio station.
“We ran out of candy in the first 45 minutes,” said Bello, the station’s faculty adviser. “The students learn how to interact with the public. This gets them out into the community. They get a taste of everything you come across in broadcasting.”
A day full of trick-or-treating, prizes, bounce houses, pumpkin painting, popcorn, pizza and music, the event was “on par” with promotions put on by larger radio stations, she said. Her communications 102 class actually made sure that it fell into place and ran well throughout the day while another class worked on the sponsorship aspects in the spring.
“It’s a service learning project” she said. “We decided to do a more community-oriented event and for this to be a school event for students with children. In the spring we will plan for the next one. We’ll do this again.”
Their supply of candy for 250 people quickly ran out by mid-morning, she said. Students had to dash to the store for more. Some kids even dressed up twice to do a second round of trick-or-treating. They had to pay a $3 fee each time and got to enter a ticket to win an Apple iPad.
Emily Ganshaw definitely showed her two sides during the event. She first dressed as a devil with black accents and face make-up. Then she switched gears to become Cleopatra, complete with a gold headpiece and gold and turquoise jewels on her long ivory gown.
What did she like most during the day?
“The candy,” she said excitedly.
Her mom, Rachel Johnson, is an accounting major at the college. She said the day was fun and her group, which included friends, would come again next year. Since costumes can get expensive to buy every year, she has “tons of costumes” she has saved from prior years.
She also makes a special trip after the big day to get good deals.
“I buy them after the season. I got the devil costume … for 90 percent off when no one wants it in November,” she said. “The kids had a lot of fun; they were never bored.”
Suzanne Smith, a radio club member and communications major, also enjoyed working the admission table, she said. She noticed a lot of princess costumes mixed in with some ghouls, witches and pirates. A bone marrow cancer survivor, she’s already had her big scare. She is thankful for the support she received from the school community and likes to participate in GCC events.
Wearing her own Cleopatra outfit with long black hair and a bejeweled gown, Smith said that she had about 50 treat bags left out of 500 total. It was a good fundraiser for the station, she said.“This is how we keep our radio station alive,” she said. “The most fun is being on the radio. I love the rush that it gives me. I want to be working in communications and PR.
A thank you to The Daily News Online for this article