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Examiner
  • Theater students 'Trick or Treat' to help those in need

  • High school theater students will be out in force this Halloweens, but they will not be searching for candy. They will be trick-or-treating to help others.

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  • High school theater students will be out in force this Halloweens, but they will not be searching for candy. They will be trick-or-treating to help others.
    Grain Valley, Blue Springs South, Lee’s Summit North, Lee’s Summit and Lee’s Summit West high schools are participating in the Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat program this year. The national service program is sponsored by the International Thespian Society, a division of the Education Theatre Association.
    “Our students live in the community and know how important local donations can be for families in need,” said Athena Melnicki, theater director at Grain Valley High School. “Additionally, many of the high school students I work with still like to dress up and go out on Halloween Night. This project gives them a positive reason to be out in costume and working for a greater goal.”
    During Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat students “trick-or-treat” for canned and dry goods. These are then donated to food banks and other local charities.
    Last year, more than 289 thespian troupes collected more than 304,000 pounds of food. All active thespian troupes are eligible to participate. Awards are also given to teams that collect the most items. The Lee’s Summit team, which includes all three high schools and Summit Christian Academy, received a Cornucopia Award in 2011 for the most total weight by a team. They collected 7,236 pounds of food.
    “Since this is our first year to complete the program, it is hard to know how much to set as a goal,” said Melnicki, whose Thespian Troupe is only in its second year. “I do know that in the past, the high school in particular has not had a great turn out for food donation programs. It would be nice to have at least 1,000 cans of food come from the high school, one for each student enrolled.”
    Many of the high schools will begin collecting food the weekend before Halloween, so be on the look out for news and fliers about collection times. For more information on the Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat program, visit the program’s website at schooltheatre.org/society/programs/tots.
     
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