FUN Readies For Outdoor Halloween Treat And Meet-Up
After much consideration on the heels of a successful “back-to-school” meeting September 27, Families United in Newtown (FUN) is moving forward with an outdoor and socially distanced Halloween celebration featuring costumes, pizza, dancing to music with a Halloween theme, and a small “trunk or treat” activity.
The event is set for Saturday, October 24, from 3 to 5 pm, in and around the Dickinson Park pavilion. Anyone wishing to attend must RSVP by phone to founder Linda Jones by calling 203-512-6284 to ensure there are enough supplies and refreshments.
FUN hosts a program of school year activities to provide social and emotional support to local youths on the autism spectrum and their families.
The Halloween meet-up (with a rain date of October 25) invites parents, siblings, caregivers, and all the Newtown High School National Honors Society volunteers to suit up along with participants in their best Halloween costumes. After a 3 pm check-in with proper precautions including a temperature check, everyone will be invited to show off their spooky creativity during a costume runway show at 3:30 pm.
Pizza will be served at 4:15, and the trunk or treat, with approximately a dozen distribution sites, will wrap up the event at 4:45 pm. Safe, individually wrapped candies will be passed to participants through six-foot chutes donated by LRM Inc to ensure proper distancing is maintained.
Participants are asked to utilize proper face coverings along with any costume pieces. Hand sanitizer will also be provided by FUN students and volunteers.
Founded by local residents Linda and Duane Jones, the grassroots organization has been tapping National Honors Society students and community volunteers since 2010. The group primarily offers supervised social and recreational activities for young people with developmental disabilities as well as those on the autism spectrum while helping to raise awareness about autism and funds to support autism research.
Linda and Duane — parents to Lindsey, Austin, and Tyler — turned the tragedy of Tyler’s untimely passing in 2009 into a positive living memorial for their beloved son. FUN began as a recreation program in memory of Tyler, to help bring the community of special needs families together in a safe and welcoming place.
Linda, a registered dietitian and advocate for the autism community, saw a need for a community-based recreation program for families with special-needs children. At each FUN meeting, families are paired with a National Honors Society student from Newtown High School who will spend time with the kids, giving the parents a much-needed break.
Any and all are welcome at FUN meetings. The organization also gratefully accepts tax-deductible donations to help underwrite the expense of activities, which are all offered free to participants.
To volunteer, donate, or for more information, visit familiesunitedinnewtown.org, or the Families United in Newtown Facebook page.