By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News
A steady line of cars extended through the Tulalip reservation on the afternoon of October 31, beginning along Marine Drive and ending at the Tulalip Gathering Hall parking lot. Patiently waiting in each vehicle were little princesses, superheroes, beloved cartoon and movie characters as well as a number of scary villains and frightening monsters – all of whom were ecstatic to receive candy and check out all the creepy and creative decorations at the annual Tulalip Trunk or Treat community celebration.
Hosted by the local volunteer group, Together We’re Better, the Halloween-themed event has brought smiles to the kids and families of Tulalip for nearly a decade.
“This is our ninth Trunk or Treat,” exclaimed Together We’re Better Founder, Malory Simpson. “Our first Trunk or Treat was at the admin building. And then we added a potluck, we had mass foods and crafts, and lots of things for the kids to do. But with COVID, we had to do a drive-thru style this year and last year.”
As you may know, Halloween is quite the spooktacular holiday amongst Tulalip citizens. In addition to Trunk or Treat, there are usually multiple community and tribal department events that take place during the season. However, with the delta variant still on the rise, most of those celebrations were canceled for the second year in a row, which has contributed to more volunteers and participants during the yearly Trunk or Treat festivities.
This year, Together We’re Better collaborated on the popular event with the Tulalip Tribes. Many tribal departments and local organizations spent the holiday with the community including the Tulalip Police and Fire Departments, Tulalip Remedy and the Tulalip Lions Club. And as always, the Sacred Riders and other surrounding motorcycle clubs joined in on the fun.
Said Malory, “We have our regulars, like the Sacred Riders, they’ve been coming for years. That’s one of my favorite things about Trunk or Treat is when you hear the bikes come in. I’ve had steady people volunteer over the years and have lots of new people always coming in. The amount of Trunk or Treaters has definitely grown. I think word got through to the surrounding communities, and that’s what Together we’re Better is about, bringing the community together and that’s both Tulalip and Marysville. Seeing the different faces and our members of Tulalip coming through is pretty awesome.”
She continued, “Last year, the Tribe donated candy, this year, they donated the buckets and lots and lots of candy. It is also the first year that the staff has been involved with the collaboration, I think we have the CEO staff, custodial and public works lending a hand today.”
By altering Trunk or Treat to a drive-thru celebration, Together We’re Better found a way to provide a safe and fun Halloween event where kids can still show off their costumes while collecting sugary snacks, just like the good-ol’-days before the world-wide pandemic. By the end of the three-hour event, hundreds of kids left the drive-thru with buckets overflowing with candy as well as several fun and healthy items such as books and toothbrushes.
“Being able to do something for the community is very fulfilling,” expressed Together We’re Better volunteer, Natosha Gobin. “It was nice to gather with everybody and see the decorations and the excitement on the kids and parents faces when they drove thru. Everybody came together and did this for the kids, and that’s really powerful.”
If you are looking to get more involved with the community, Together We’re Better, is always accepting donations, whether that is goods, money or your personal volunteered time. For more information, please contact Malory Simpson at (425) 905-9137.