United, we stand taller

Staff writer Sha’Tara Simmons. Photo by Simmons

Florida A&M is at its finest when multiple organizations join forces to put on an event for the community. That’s what happened on Halloween at the annual “Trunk of Treat.”

For the first time FAMU’s Educational Research Center for Child Development, the athletics department, housing department, and Efferson Student Union collaborated to contribute to trunk or treat.

More than 15 organizations, clubs and athletic teams came together to create their own trunk. There were also activities for the students to do like jumbo bowling, ski ball and sensory items.

“I came to FAMU, I was a track and field athlete and my second year I started trunk or treat as an athlete in athletics but of course we don’t have the Gaither parking lot anymore and I knew that Miss (Kenedria) Thurman was always putting on another trunk or treat event so we were like, let’s collaborate sports teams, clubs and organizations out here,” said Stephanie Colter, a fourth year doctorate student. She’s also the leadership and service center coordinator, assistant track and field coach, and group fitness instructor for campus recreation.

Over 100 children have participated in this event. Some have been students of the ERCCD and some are local residents who stopped by. This event created a family friendly atmosphere for children to have the same Halloween experience as they would if they were to go trick or treating.

“You would still get the treats, but tricks aren’t so scary; they will be age appropriate,” said Kenedria Thurman, director of FAMU ERCCD. “Our preschool is founded on Afrocentric principles, so we try not to celebrate any holidays other than like Kwanza. Just getting the children to know more about unity and things of that nature, we realized that we would have to embrace some of the traditional celebrations like Halloween. Since families might not celebrate Halloween trunk or treat was something they never heard of, so it allowed originally university officials and people in upper administration to come down, bring their trunks, meet the children, see them and as it took off more student organizations participated.”

This year’s trunk or treat produced more participation from FAMU student organizations as well as Tallahassee’s local community. Larry Cummings, the outgoing resident director for Palmetto Street Apartments South, said, “This is a perfect opportunity to unite and do something for the community.”

This event created a safe place for children to not only get candy but they were also getting the opportunity to walk up to a basketball player, a sorority member, or even a mentoring organization to see what they do.

All of the organizations have different goals and visions but they all came together for the love of children. It was a wonderful example of FAMU at its finest. The whole was greater than the sum of its parts.