SANDPOINT — While they would have enjoyed seeing more trick-or-treaters, Lake Pend Oreille High School students were costumed and ready with plenty of treats, as well as their 30 jack-o'-lanterns, at Valley Vista Care of Sandpoint on Halloween.
"I think it was a beginning of something that is going to grow," said Leata Judd, local artist and LPOHS volunteer.
LPOHS instructors Rand Rosecrans and Randy Wilhelm pulled their art and culinary art students together in the days leading up to Halloween to create a jack-o'-lantern stroll to attract kids to Valley Vista.
Rosecrans came up with the idea of the jack-o'-lantern stroll as it was a tradition he was part of in Portland, Ore., several years ago. It started with a few of his co-workers when they carved seven pumpkins and placed them on the eave of a house. The tradition grew each year until the final one, five years later, when they carved 36 pumpkins and took them to nursing homes.
The jack o'lantern stroll was for the purpose of attracting the young ghosts and goblins to Valley Vista, and to put smiles on the faces of all, young and old — Judd said the Valley Vista seniors who came out to say hi seemed to enjoy seeing the group there. But the event was also part of Wilhelm and Rosecrans' mission to get the kids out into the community.
"People tend to talk down about LPO a lot, and I think this will actually show them that we are not as bad as they think we are," said Caitlin Yarber, LPOHS sophomore.
Yarber was among the students who dressed up and volunteered to hand out candy on Halloween, as were Kendell Kurrus and Bethany Nelson. Both Nelson and Kurrus agreed the event was "a lot of fun."
"It really got us to do something and get out of the house for a couple hours," Nelson said.
"It was good to spend time with friends and celebrate Halloween the way that I usually don't," Kurrus added.
The teens said they all hope to participate in next year's jack-o'lantern stroll.
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