Best ‘Safe Halloween’ everChildren had fun. Merchants, government agencies and community organizations were creative and giving. Security was outstanding. And the Kern County Museum Foundation came out a big winner, as a result.
It was the annual “Safe Halloween” at the Kern County Museum in Bakersfield on October 30 and 31, sponsored by Blue Cross of California and KGET-TV. The foundation calls it “Kern County’s premier trick-or-treat experience,” and it is also its biggest fund raiser of the year. According to Heather Fowler, foundation executive director, more than 10,000 visitors attended the two nights with approximately 9,000 of those paying children and adults. The remainder volunteered their time as sponsors and ticket takers at 33 trick-or-treat stations located throughout the grounds.
“The event was our biggest fund raiser ever,” Fowler said. “It was a sellout. We sold 20 percent more tickets than last year, and our proceeds are 40 percent higher than they were two years ago. It was a wonderful, wonderful experience for the children and their parents, and it will benefit the museum, too.”
Pride and perfection were in evidence at each station. Every sponsor tried to be a little more innovative, a little more unique than all the others. The children were treated to a variety of experiences because of it.
Suzuki Motorsports set up at the Howell House with a display that featured lots of ghosts enhanced by a machine that produced an eerie fog effect. Strolling through the grounds, visitors had a fun time trying to find their way through a trick-or-treat maze set up by Walker-Lewis Rents and K-Lite Radio. Going through the Weill House meant walking gingerly through a spooky, haunted hallway created by MARE.
There was a little more incentive for sponsors — honors for being creative and competitive. Awards went to Kern Schools Federal Credit Union/Kern County Superintendent of Schools - “Best Treat/Handout,” Boomers - “Most Entertaining Treat Station,” MARE - “Best Fright,” Dignity Memorial - “Best Costumed Volunteers” and Golden State Motors - “Best Theme.”
How about a picture with Frankenstein next to the Munster’s family car? For many visitors, it was the perfect photo opportunity for those in search of a memory to put on a bulletin board, scrapbook, family album or personal Web site.
“The lines moved quickly and extra security was in place to make it a very safe experience for the children,” Fowler said. “While waiting to get in, children had fun playing in a jump house and listening to music in Stramler Park, right next door to the museum. And we are so grateful for the generous contributions of local merchants, service organizations and individuals who gave of their time, talent and resources to make this year’s Safe Halloween another big success.”
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