Pumpkin Prowl 2017 Reflections
How do we even begin to thank all the wonderful people and businesses that contributed to this year's event? Let's start with a little history and move forward from there, shall we?
In 2014, Larry Pattison realized that due to his separation agreement parenting schedule, he would not get to have Halloween with his two beautiful daughters. Nearing the end of his campaign for Ward 3 Trustee, he approached his campaign manager, Joanna St Jacques , with a crazy idea to make their own Halloween, a week before the real one. With the help of the late Kate Andrus, who named the event "Pumpkin Prowl", Larry set out to ask his neighbours to open their doors and hand out candy to his daughters and other kids in the community. With 20 kids attending, the first Pumpkin Prowl was a hit.
Since the first one there have been 3 more Pumpkin Prowls, each one doubling in attendance.
So what's the big deal? At the very least, this is a fun event that let's kids dress up a second time and play games and do crafts. What we have found, however, 4 events in, is that this is so much more than a "second Halloween".
This event has us talking to our neighbours as we knock on their doors asking them to participate, it has our neighbours talking to each other and sharing candy as it runs out mid-trick-or-treating and commiserating about "look how many kids there are this year!!", it has amazing community members coming out and volunteering their time and energy, it has small businesses supporting our local community efforts, it has kids coming out of their homes and playing with other neighbourhood kids... this event for us is truly about building community.
On Saturday October 21st, we held the 4th Annual Pumpkin Prowl - with a record setting 250+ kids.
This did not happen without the help of many many wonderful and giving people. We will attempt to thank them all here. We could not have done this without them. You made this event a success, and we cannot even begin thank you enough. But we'll try.
Thank you to our parents! Val and Larry Pattison, Irwin and Diane Aronson , and Helen Menzies-Beaudin thank you for dressing up and helping run this event- we couldn't have done it without you!
Thank you to our kids - Emma, Abby, and Hayleigh- you flyered, you marketed, you recruited houses to hand out candy, you made beautiful posters, this event was for you and we hope it means as much to you as it does to us. We are so proud of you.
Thank you to our sister, Amber Pattison - you have always been such a huge help and supporter!! We're sorry you couldn't be with us this year but we know you were there in spirit. The Pumpkin Prowler go cart you made for us last year was proudly on display.
Brad Dean Jet Propelled - you made us look good! As our title sponsor you designed our logo and our marketing materials, and man oh man, do we ever look good! Thank you, we know that took a lot of time and effort. You're amazing and we thank you.
Jim Watts - Vagabond Saints - not only did you print 100 bags for us, you made us t-shirts, you collected candy, AND you closed your store early to help run the games at the event surrounded by 250+ excited kids. Wow. Your support has been truly amazing. We are very lucky to have you on board.
Kathy Gallagher-Heakes - you were a rockstar arranging insurance and permits! Thank you for all your hard work to make us run this legitimately!
Catherine Johnston - you were our champion from the start and this year you had your sleeves rolled up and did everything from fundraising, set up and tear down, driving around the city with us picking up all kinds of crazy things like helium tanks and candy, flyering the neighbourhood, and even emotional support.
Mary Lisa and Deborah Barfknecht - you sponsored this event, bought candy, and promoted the heck out of it! We cant thank you enough for picking us to help! When you two touch an event you make it magical!
Alain H. Bureau - you jumped on board this week without hesitation and got us tents, tables, gave us a ton of advice, you set up, tore down, and decorated. We can only imagine how it would have been if we had you on the team from the start! #massive
Chris Parkinson - a hero in the community and an actual super hero at our event! Thanks for being batman and getting us random things we really needed like helium and a megaphone.
Christine Gordon - thank you for championing this event and making all the crafts for the Erich's Cupboard - EC table. We love what you do for our community.
Matthew Green and Simon Granat and City Hall Staff- you sure worked some magic to help us out and we can't thank you enough for supporting our little event that grew much bigger this year! As always, we're #Proudtobeward3
Penny Pincher Costumes Inc. / Brenda Eszenyi - you have supported us so much for the past 3 events! Thank you for sending over our mascot in Terry Rhodes - he delights us every year with different costumes and the kids just love it!
Lori Cooke and Nikki for running our bouncy castle- that was no easy task but you did an amazing job keeping all the kids safe!
Sheri Pattison Botting and family- thanks for dressing up and helping hand out candy! So wonderful to have you with us this year!
Thank you to our volunteers and extended family and friends, community connectors, our Scott Park Baseball family for coming to support us and volunteer your time. And of course, thank you to our neighbours who open their doors each year to hand out candy- you make us and our city better!
To our sponsors:
Gage Park Diner - thank you for supplying free coffee and hot chocolate and wowing everyone again with your costumes! You shut down your restaurant early and provided everything at no cost to us. Everyone reading this - please visit Christine Cayuga and her team at Gage Park Diner and thank them by enjoying their amazing food and service.
My Free Hamilton - the mindfulness resources you demonstrated and your peer support for mental health in the community is just wonderful. Thank you for doing what you do!
Determination Martial Arts - how lucky are we to have you on board!? We LOVE what you do for kids with disabilities and everyone should learn about who you are and what you do. You're an inspiration!
Urban Zoo - what is more exciting then getting to see and learn about animals!? Thank you for coming this year and sharing your Travelling Zoo with the kids. Needless to say, you were a hit!
Jump Start Rentals Ltd. - thank you for jumping through hoops to get your bouncy castle to us! We look forward to working with you again soon!
To our local small business sponsors, which are too many to list but can be found on our website at www.pumpkinprowl.ca Please check them out and support them. We know it's tough for small business, and when they reach into their pockets to support us the least we can do is #shoplocal and support them right back!
We hope we didn't miss anyone. We know we can never thank you enough but we hope you accept our gratitude. Thank you for being a part of something that means so much to us.
Have a safe and happy holiday season and watch for our success story in the December-January edition of The Point community paper. You’ll also be able to view it digitally once published at https://thepointhamilton.wordpress.com/back-issues/pdfs-of-back-issues/
Tara and Larry
Now Halloween occurs twice in Hamilton
Because no child should miss these special moments with their family
Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors
"In the middle of a big city, it felt like we were in our own little community tonight. Thank you to the organizers for all the work in making the Pumpkin Prowl available to us. The kids loved it!!! Lovin' the sense of community."
~Shelley (previous Pumpkin Prowl event attendee)