Saving Halloween

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:03

BYRAM — It all started when Byram Mayor James Oscovitch and Councilman Scott Olson were talking about how the recent snowstorm would make trick or treating dangerous. “Scott and I agreed that with power lines still down, hazardous tree limbs hanging and the potential of ice on the roads, there had to be a better solution,” said Oscovitch. Oscovitch and Olson heard that neighborhood families were trying to organize an alternative to trick or treating too. On Halloween, Oscovitch called various officials in the township and school district and together the group agreed that they would put out the word for Byram community members to meet in the parking lots of Byram Lakes Elementary and Byram Lakes Middle School on Mansfield Drive. The idea was that everyone would show up with their cars decked out in any sort of Halloween get-up that could be managed, and the community would throw an impromptu Halloween bash right at the schools. That afternoon a posting went up on the township’s website and an alert went out through the school’s text messaging system. By that night, the parking lots were filled and it was clear the event was a huge success. “We went through eight bags of candy in less than 30 minutes,” said Mike and Belinda McMahon. “This was such a good idea.” Because Byram schools were closed, children were unable to see any of each other’s costumes or participate in any Halloween festivities. The solution, Trunk or Treating, solved the ghoulish problem. “We wanted to do something positive and proactive,” said Olson. “I am so thrilled that it was such a success, it just goes to show you the power of community.” Mayor Oscovitch agreed. “This could not have happened if there was not a cooperative nature between the town and the school,” he said. An extra treat came to the Byram students via their parent’s cell phones. Cheers rose up through the crowd as parents announced another alert had just come in. School would be closed on Tuesday as well.