GORHAM, Maine - University of Southern Maine student-athletes and the Huskies' Department of Athletics will host its most popular annual event of the year, the Huskies' Community Halloween Party, on Sunday, October 28 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Costello Sports Complex Hill Gymnasium in Gorham, Maine.
Organized, planned, and hosted by the Huskies' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC); advisor Samantha Allen, USM women's basketball coach; and the Gorham Department of Recreation, the Huskies' Community Halloween Party gives kids from the local communities a safe environment to participate in many different Halloween-related activities. With generous donations from local businesses, the Huskies' Community Halloween Party, hosted inside at Hill Gymnasium, is free of charge, and open to children in grade five and under.
Family members can participate in numerous activities that are facilitated by USM student-athletes and Gorham Recreation Department, including two of the most popular attractions each year, the Husky Halloween Hayride and the Husky Haunted House providing fun and good-natured thrills. Along with the on-going events during the Halloween Party (bean bag toss, ring toss, mini golf, hockey slap shot, bounce houses, face-painting and more) there will be several special events occurring throughout the day coordinated by members of Gorham Parks and Recreation:
3:15 Pumpkin Patch Stomp
3:30 Musical Chairs
4:00 Costume Parade
4:15 Costume Contest – Best in Show
4:30 USM Team Captain "SAAC" Race
4:45 Conga Line
Also new this year, the Gorham Recreation Department will sponsor a door prize for community attendees, and children in attendance will have an opportunity to vote on their favorite student-athlete attraction.
"The Halloween Party is a special event for USM's student-athlete advisory committee. It celebrates the collaboration of all our teams to create a memorable experience for the Gorham and USM community, and gives us a chance to reach out to local business and organizations, like the Gorham Recreation Department, and work together fostering community relations," noted Allen. "It is fun to watch the student-athletes jockey for position for their favorite Halloween games and brainstorm new events for the children; not to mention it is always a toss up for which group is having more fun - our guests or our student-athletes."
"The Halloween Party requires a lot of time and dedication on the part of our student-athletes and Coach Allen, our advisor, but it is our most fun event of the year," said USM SAAC President and women's basketball senior Kim Howrigan. "As student-athletes we enjoy getting a chance to interact with members of the community, and we can immediately see the impact we make while having fun interacting with kids from the local communities. So many of these community members attend our games throughout the year, and it is great that we have the opportunity to give back in a fun setting.
Created in 1996 with a handful of Husky student-athletes, the USM Student-Athlete Advisory committee has continued to grow in numbers, in activities and in community outreach. The student-led organization is comprised of student-athletes representing all 22 of USM's intercollegiate sports. Since its creation, USM SAAC has earned awards for its community service efforts at the national, regional, and local level.
Recognized by recently by the University in 2017, 2016, 2015 with its Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award, USM's SAAC has also been recognized by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) with the Josten's Community Service Award on numerous occasions, most recently in 2017. Last Fall, USM's SAAC received Josten's Community Service honorable mention honors from NADIIIAA for its Kick the Stigma event centered around mental health awareness, and focusing on educating the USM community about the resources available to them on campus.
The Huskies' Community Halloween Party is one of many youth-centric events looked forward to by children and surrounding communities. Other events include the annual Skate with the Huskies event hosted by USM's men's and women's ice hockey teams, Special Olympics Basketball Tournament, Unified Sports Programming, and more.
2018 Annual Huskies' Community Halloween Party
What: Community Halloween Party
When: Sunday, October 28, 2018 (3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Where:Hill Gymnasium, Costello Sports Complex, Gorham, Maine
Who:Children Grade Five and under