The Phi Delta Theta fraternity hosted its third annual Halloween Fun House yesterday for children in the Ithaca community. For five hours, the fraternity brothers ran what they called a toned-down haunted house, a inflatable trampoline, arts and crafts, and other carnival games for about 300 children.
“We saw the need for a haunted house in the area that is geared toward kids. A lot of the ones currently in the area are not appropriate for children, and yet Halloween is supposed to be for kids,” said David Arnold ’03, philanthropy chair for the fraternity.
According to Arnold, the fraternity has hosted this event for the past three years because the brothers enjoy providing a valuable service to the community.
“All of the brothers enjoy giving something back to the community, showing the kids a good time and giving everyone a chance to interact in a fun atmosphere,” Arnold said.
Jonathan Kuai ’03, a member of the fraternity, stressed that the event was a fun house and not just a haunted house, since it provided activities for children other than a haunted house. In the haunted house, too, the brothers were able to adjust the “fright factor” for children of different ages. When young children passed through the haunted house, they were given candy rather than being scared.
Kuai also noted the importance the program’s being free to the community. “This makes it accessible to everyone,” Kuai said.
The house spent $800 to provide these activities for children free of charge. Donations were accepted and will be given to the relief efforts for the World Trade Center, where two alumni brothers of the fraternity were killed.
Those attending the event enjoyed all of the attractions provided by the fraternity.
“I think it was just totally awesome. I got freaked out when the people jumped out of the leaves at us,” said Janelle Huskerson, a nine-year-old attendee.
“It is so nice to see such a great community service program for the kids. Students often get a bad rep in the community, but this was the perfect way for them to interact with families,” said Steve Lamb ’78, a parent of several attending children.
Archived article by Seth Harris