City residents to revitalize trick or treating

October 10, 2017

When Joyce Ellis was a child, nearly every house in her Washington neighborhood was a stop on the trick or treat circuit. Now, as a resident, she’s noticed fewer and fewer homes distributing treats every Halloween.“All through our neighborhood, everyone was giving,” said Ellis, executive director of LeMoyne Community Center. “This is a city that has more apartments, abandoned buildings and senior citizens on fixed incomes. There are less people giving out candy.“Ellis and her Donnan Avenue neighbors are revitalizing the trick-or-treating tradition this year by collecting candy and other small items for distribution by those who couldn’t otherwise afford to participate. Local legislators, businesses and organizations have jumped on board and made contributions to the cause.“We all want to recapture a little bit about our youth and have our kids feel that because they haven’t yet had that,” she said.Ellis asked that all residents giving out candy sit outside their homes with outdoor lights on during trick-or-treating hours, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31.“Parents have told me, ‘We would love to trick or treat in our own neighborhood. We always go somewhere else.’ It takes the guesswork out of whose house you need to go to,” she said.Luminary bags, decorated by children at the LeMoyne Center, will line the streets and sidewalks.“The trick is to follow the light to get your treat. I just envision lights up and down the streets,” she said. “What a great thing for kids and for us adults to get to know our neighbors.“Ellis said the initiative “is happening all over the city of Washington, not just in my neighborhood.“City Councilman Joe Manning said the city supports Ellis’ efforts and will provide police and fire department presence as is custom.Donations can be dropped off at the LeMoyne Center, 200 Forrest Ave.Those who are interested in participating, setting up luminary bags or donating are asked to call Ellis at 724-228-0260.