Wilfred Smith Resource Center Celebrates Trick Or Treat Party
by James Coulter
Halloween may be weeks away, but it’s never too early to go trick or treating. The Wilfred Smith Resource Center in Winter Haven allowed children to do just that with their annual Trick Or Treat Party on Friday evening.
Hundreds of children and their guardians dressed up in their Halloween best and convened at the Wilfred Smith Resource Center for an evening of fun, games, music, and, of course, free candy.
Children could play party games and win candy prizes, create their own spooky arts and crafts, and even participate within a costume contest to see who was the best dressed.
Aside from the various fun and games, attendees also had the opportunity to see and even touch exotic animals such as chameleons, naked mole rats, and snakes as provided by the animal ministry, Creation Critters.
Meanwhile, adults could receive information about various services and programs as provided by Polk County Park And Recreations, especially at the Wilfred Smith Resource Center.
Throughout the year, the center provides local families, especially those of low-income households, services such as an after-school program, tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a computer lab that is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As such, the annual event not only allows children from these families an opportunity to enjoy free family fun, but also adults an opportunity to see what services and programs the center has to provide them and their families.
Over the past few years, the turnout for their Halloween event has been steadily growing, and this year saw an even greater turnout from last year, explained Boris Rodriguez, Center Director.
“It was wonderful,” he said. “More families have been coming out. More kids with their cousins and friends. So it has been growing slowly but surely.”
Robert Foss, of Parties By Robert, helped coordinate that evening’s activities with a costume contest, dance–off, and limbo contest. He has been attending the event for nearly two decades, and he loves helping out each and every year.
His favorite part is seeing little children, especially those three and under, dressed in their Halloween costumes. Being able to offer these children free, safe holiday fun is always the best for him.
“I have been coming out to this for the past 20 years,” he said. “It has grown and gotten more popular because our program is safe fun for the kids with lots of activities, and even the parents can join in as well.”