Most kids equate Halloween with getting heaps of candy treats, but Jayne Konatsotis of Wilton, Connecticut saw an opportunity to do something sweet for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). Jayne, a senior at Wilton High School, rallied more than a hundred of her classmates and organized a Halloween “Trunk-or-Treat” event in her town to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.
Jayne’s idea for a Trunk-or-Treat was inspired by her own happy Halloween memories. She explained that when Hurricane Sandy struck her town, kids were unable to trick-or-treat due to downed trees and power lines. Knowing that their kids would be disappointed, local parents came together to coordinate a Trunk-or-Treat event in a school parking lot.
“I remembered how much fun my friends and I had that day trick-or-treating with one another in a big group and wanted to use that memory as the basis for an awareness and fundraising event,” recalled Jayne.
To pull off the event, Jayne reached out to friends and student class president, Ava Kaplan, who helped her spread the word to student body and club leaders, ultimately recruiting more than one hundred students. Jayne contacted the town’s Parks and Recreation department to acquire the necessary permits. To publicize the event, Jayne and her team designed and posted flyers around town, reached out to local media, and contacted elementary school PTA groups to spread the word.
Despite chilly temperatures and a brisk wind, on October 20, Jayne and her classmates organized twenty cars, each representing different clubs and teams at Wilton High School, as trunk or treat stations for the one hundred trick-or-treaters who participated in the event. At the end of the day, Jayne and her friends raised $500 in donations for ALSF. But, Jayne says, the bigger win was the awareness raised for the organization.
“I chose Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation because they support childhood cancer research and this event was to be all about kids, not adults,” she explained. “I wanted this event to be run by Wilton High School Students and to set the example that charity events can be fun and ultimately be a benefit to the community.”
Jayne is thankful for the support she received from her fellow students and hopes this will become an annual event.
“I’m proud of my classmates for making an effort during a hectic time of year. It was hard work to put it all together and to generate community awareness about the event. I would like to see the event taken over by another student next year, see it grow in the community and become a tradition for the Town of Wilton and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation,” said Jayne.
Inspired by Jayne’s story to get involved in the fight for cures for childhood cancer? Learn more about the sweet ways you can help us fund innovative, breakthrough research here.