Light in the Night offers service opportunities

Even though the rain was pouring, the jack-o-lanterns were still lit and hundreds of children, dressed as transformers, fairy princesses and jedis, flooded the halls of the Knollcrest East apartments on Saturday.

This Halloween was the 21st annual Light in the Night, an event that brings faculty, staff and students together to host more than 1,000 trick-or-treaters.

The event takes collaboration on many levels and requires many willing volunteers, some of whom were stuck in the rain.

“The kids are really cute. I do it for the kids,” said junior Rachel Buikema, regarding why she volunteered her night outside in the downpour. Another wet volunteer, first-year student Rachael Bouwman, added this it is about giving a good face to Calvin and being a good neighbor. “It’s about being in community, not about the candy.”

As the children filed into the apartments out of the rain, their first stop was the world of Big Hero 6 in Phi Chi. Then they followed the route through the apartments: Zeta Lambda (Little Mermaid/Under the Sea), Kappa (Inside Out), Gamma (Harry Potter), Alpha (Star Wars), Beta (the zoo), Delta (Peter Pan), and finally, Theta Epsilon (Wreck-it Ralph).

The event was also great fun for the students who dressed up and gave out candy. “The event is a way to break the Calvin bubble and see people of different ages,” commented senior Joy Christopher who passed out candy.

Also, students got to see the costumes of all the children. When asked what was the best costume, student Sarah Lee said, “There was this one kid dressed up as the Scream. His mask squirted fake blood down his face. It was really terrifying. So I gave him a candy to send him away.”

In addition, Light in the Night serves as a way to help support charities. This year, the event called for canned food and other donations for Bethany Christian Services, a local organization that assists refugees.

“Light in the Night is a great way to reach out to the community and bring people to Calvin that would not normally be here,” said Robin Zylstra, an organizer of the event who spent many hours trying to make Light in the Night turn out the way it did. “It puts Calvin’s name out there and gives us a chance to serve. When I say us, I mean staff, faculty, students and everyone.”