There were two rather unique Halloween Happenings last weekend at the Tri-City Elks at 1915 West Shore Road in Warwick.
The first was Derek “Buzzlight Year” Martins’ decoration extravaganza that Friday night transformed Lodge 14’s downstairs multi-use room into a “Hallowed Hall” featuring such party props as hanging and flying ghosts, goblins and ghouls, inflated-lighted colorful spiders and dragons as well as a skeleton-filled casket, just to name a few of what people call a “dazzling display of creativity.”
It was all the backdrop for Martins’ personal Halloween Party – a.k.a. fantastic fundraiser – to raise money for the on-going battle against cancer.
It was also an excellent example of Lodge 14’s national credo “Elks Care, Elks Share”, especially after Martins learned that Tri-City was hosting its first-ever “Trunk or Treat” Saturday night rain or shine.
Thus, when Martins learned about “Trunk or Treat” for children he asked organizer Lori Amoroso if she wanted him to leave his decorations intact for what Tri-City Exalted Ruler Deb Mangina later labeled “a wonderful, wonderful family-event that even included a hearse someone drove here and parked outside the lodge.”
Saturday’s “Trunk or Treat” was also the second success story that Amoroso, who is a Tri-City member and part-time bartender, has organized within the last four weeks.
The first was actually a dinner tradition Amoroso started a dozen years ago that on October 1 took in the tidy sum of $9,885 for Breast Cancer Awareness and included many of the same volunteers who worked Saturday’s “Trunk or Treat” and also worked tirelessly to make the first-ever Albert “Cookie” DeLory Memorial Golf Tournament an overwhelming success for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
When asked what “Trunk or Treat” actually is, Amoroso -- with a pleasing smile -- replied: “Kids of ages go outside and people give them candy out of the trunks of their cars or trucks.”
Tri-City’s event, though, was much more courtesy of Martins and countless Elks like Cheryl Rebello – Amoroso’s long-time friend – who was decked out in a giant pumpkin costume and along with Robert “Bob” Hartington co-chaired the super special DeLory Memorial Golf bash.
“The rain didn’t dampen anyone’s Halloween spirit,” Amoroso offered. “The kids are loving it and so are they parents. Look, almost everyone is dressed in a (Halloween) costume”
If there was a prize for the best costume, it probably would have gone to Martins, who showed up in his “Buzzlight Year” attire and was accompanied by his wife Jane and children Kara, Kaylee and Carter who all woe special outfits from the Toy Story theme.
Lodge 14’s “Trunk or Treat” was held inside, as noted, and outside and featured seven vehicles whose trunks were covered with a canopy coverings and filled with all sorts and candy that Lodge 14 purchased and provided for their initial Halloween Happening.
Even Tri-City’s Pat and Gale Conley-donated tiki bar served as a candy corner for any and all cars that drove into Rossi Drive whose young passengers were excited about the variety of sweet stuff they received from ladies like MJ Larned and other Elks volunteers.
Likewise, Lodge 14’s was dressed with lawn ornaments, blow-ups and stakes that decorated the front and back of the famed Elks home.
There was a flurry of action inside the decked out room where dozens of costume-clad children and their parents were part of Tri-City’s newest tradition that as Joe Amoroso and others offered “is indeed an example of how much Elks Care and Elks Share.”
Moreover, as Lori Amoroso later announced: “This is the beginning of a new partnership; Erik (Martins) and I are going to co-chair next year’s Trunk or Treat that will be much bigger and better and featuring more characters like a skeleton in a casket that was just one of the classic creations here tonight.”
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