Lydia Defresne shared a moment with Joan Robertson at the Halloween Alley celebration, hosted at Rocky Mountain Village on Wednesday October 31. Turn to page B1 to read the full story. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Youth trick or treat with seniors

Seniors lined the hallways of Rocky Mountain Village, eagerly awaiting the arrival of young trick or treaters.

One by one they arrived, some under the guise of superheros, some as animals, one even dressed as a cupcake and her father as a chef.

Apprehension flashed across the faces of several seniors as young ones timidly began working their way down the halls, buckets in hand, ready to accept gifts of candy.

The apprehension was quickly replaced with joy once children began approaching. Silence was soon replaced with laughter and jovial conversation.

An elderly woman seated in a wheelchair extended her hand as a girl dressed as a cupcake approached her. Without hesitation the child reached out and returned the greeting, accepted her gift of candy and waddled on.

“So cute, all of them,” remarked the woman, smiling from ear to ear.

This is the first time Rocky Mountain Village has organized Halloween Alley, an event geared towards connecting generations and bringing cheer to the seniors.

“This was a chance for the full care residents to see little ones in costume,” said organizer Saran Press.

“And (it provides) a safe environment for toddlers to run around in, out of the weather, and it just makes everybody smile.”

Press explained that in previous years they have had trick or treaters visit the assisted living residents, but rarely do full-care residents get a chance to see the little ones. This year, that changed. Approximately 30 full-care residents were able to attend the event.

Asked what the reaction from seniors to this event has been, Press explained that some are a little unsure what to expect and what to do. But, she said, when you hand the seniors their buckets filled with candy, many positive memories come rushing back to them.

In addition to candy, children were also given toothbrushes, donated by the dentist. Save-on-Foods, and the Elk Valley Physicians helped with donations to make the event possible.

“Hopefully every year we can do this, and hopefully every year it will get bigger and bigger,” said Press.

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Melodie Boutet receives candy from Joan Robertson.

Melodie Boutet receives candy from Betty Poch.

Lainee Brideau receives candy from a senior on October 31. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

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