MERRILLVILLE | A steady rain couldn’t keep more than 200 tricksters from gathering treats at Merrillville High School Wednesday evening.
The first Trick or Treat event sponsored by the Merrillville Pirate Athletic Council raised $500 for Special Olympics. Parents paid a $2 entry fee for each child.
“The members of MPAC were looking for a service project and the Trick or Treat idea seemed to serve not only our community, but also support Indiana Special Olympics,” Athletic Director Janis Qualizza said.
Athletes from the school’s 21 sports teams, cheerleaders and poms donned costumes and welcomed students from the corporation’s five elementary and intermediate schools.
“With the support of our head coaches and their athletes,” Qualizza said, “we were able to put together Trick or Treat Night for kids from pre-school age through sixth grade. We felt that the weather kept many kids away and hope that in the future, our crowds will grow.”
Qualizza, an executive board member of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, said the IHSAA and their student leadership group have developed a partnership with Indiana Special Olympics called “Champions Together.” Other components to the partnership will include a Unified Track and Field Team in the spring.
“Our head coaches were with their teams,” Qualizza noted, “and went above and beyond considering the downpour that was consistent throughout the evening.”