By Karaline Harrell
Princesses and superheroes alike came out to Ornelas Residence Hall Tuesday evening for the annual Fall Festival.
This event is coordinated by the office of Residential Life and Housing, but has the help of many organizations on campus. It is a yearly function that invites children in the community to dress up in their Halloween costumes and enjoy a night of trick-or-treating, games, and even a haunted house.
“We do a bouncy house, we do a haunted house, the honors get involved and they do the mad science lab this year,” Senior RA Emily Diebel said.
Face painting, balloon animals, and traditional carnival games such as the ring toss are all part to the festivities.
Since Fall Fest takes place in one of the largest dormitories on campus, students are encouraged to volunteer and involve themselves in the many different activities.
“All the kids really like it, and it gives people a chance to be involved in something you actually have fun, and be able to put your name on something that’s a positive part of campus,” Diebel said.
One of the most common volunteer options for students living in the dorm is hosting a trick-or-treat station at your room. Children in their costumes walk door to door and are greeted by TJC students in costumes of their own.
Having children visit their dorm and gives students a unique way to volunteer and even get into the Halloween spirit themselves.
Ornelas resident Lizzy Dieterich wore a costume herself and handed out candy to the children trick-or-treating. She experienced first-hand the enjoyment of giving out candy to the visiting children.
“I just love seeing all the costumes of the little kids. It’s so much fun, and it’s a great way to spend your Tuesday night,” said Dieterich
Not only does Fall Fest serve as a fun activity, but also provides a service to the greater Tyler community.
Assistant Director of Placement Patti Light is a key organizer of Fall Fest, and sees the positive impact the event has.
“We did it because most communities have something for families and kids to go to, to provide a safe environment during the Halloween or Fall Fest season, We looked around and that’s something that was needed in this area of town,” said Light.
Light explained that since the event started seven years ago, the attendance keeps rising each year.
“It keeps growing and growing and growing. It’s also a lot of fun for our college kids too. Not just helping with it, but also having somewhere to go have that fun. That’s why we did it, for community service,” said Light.
Although attendance is only in the hundreds for now, Light hopes that participation for Fall Fest will continue to grow, just as the TJC community does.
TJC hosts several events like this throughout the year, and always welcome new volunteers. For more information about Fall Fest and how to get involved with more events such as this, contact the Residential Life and Housing office at 903-510-2345.