The Mary Nelson Youth Center hosted a Halloween party for South Side children Saturday, Oct. 31, afternoon.
Located at 2849 S. Salina St., the center’s event lasted from 1 to 5 p.m. and was attended by toddlers to high school students. Everyone who came was treated to a meal, a grab bag and a variety of activities including bobbing for apples, a short parade outside of the center and a costume contest. The winner of the contest was to receive a $50 gift certificate to be used on school supplies.
The event is the first holiday party the center has held since opening in its doors in June. To Nelson it was a chance to offer the community youth a safe and fun experience.
“I wanted to have something early in the day, so that when it’s dark the kids can be safe at home,” Nelson said.
Sabrina Brown, a board member and Mary’s sister, echoed the sentiment.
“We wanted to create a safe event for the kids,” she said. “They can come here instead of walking the streets.”
While this was one of the main concerns of the adults on hand, the children were more concerned with having fun, of which they seemed to be having plenty. Dressed in a variety of costumes ranging from superheroes to animals, everyone had a smile on their face as they enjoyed treats and danced around to Halloween-themed oldies from the stereo.
The Halloween party will not be the last holiday event that the Mary Nelson Youth Center throws. Nelson wants children in the community to know that the center will be a place that they can always turn to, regardless of it being a special event.
“We want kids to always feel that they can come through here,” Nelson said.
— Story by Bryan Anthony Hood, The Stand’s Roving Reporter