Someone has found a silver lining to the severe windstorm that caused extensive damage across Norfolk County Halloween night.
With help from social media, families and volunteers in the Vittoria area pulled together a last-minute Halloween party for children following reports of bad weather in the forecast.
In less than 24 hours, a Halloween celebration was staged at the Vittoria Community Centre that allowed kids to dress up and collect their candy without risking the dangerous weather. Everybody had so much fun that organizers intend to do it again next year.
“It turned out great,” said Kara Haist, who got the ball rolling around 8 p.m. Oct. 30. “We had so many kids, maybe 100. We hope to make it bigger next year.”
Haist was worried for the safety of families that might try trick-or-treating in lakeshore areas buffeted by high winds and high water levels.
Shortly after Haist, a resident of Fisher’s Glen, posted her concerns, Vittoria and area residents, organizations and businesses mobilized to make the gathering a success.
Norfolk firefighters at Vittoria Station 11 pitched in with hundreds of dollars worth of candy, as did the Norfolk OPP.
Sobeys and the Real Canadian Superstore also lent a hand, as did McDonald’s in Simcoe. Booth’s Harbour Rentals has offered to cover the cost of the community centre.
“It’s amazing what small-town Ontario can do in less than 24 hours,” Windham Coun. Chris Van Paassen said at the Nov. 21 meeting of Norfolk council. “The kids had a great time.”
The event lasted from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Halloween night. Activity tables were set up in the community centre, as was a makeshift maze that turned out to be a big hit with the kids.