App State community hosts Trunk or Treat for Tots event


Zoey Sigmon

The crowd at the Trunk or Treat for Tots event Oct. 20.

Zoey Sigmon, Reporter

App State students and organizations joined in hosting the Trunk or Treat for Tots event Oct. 20, welcoming local families to campus for a night of trunk or treating, games and food. 

The event traditionally partners with Tots for Tots, a local fundraising group. After being unable to host in recent years due to the pandemic, both Tots for Tots and university organizations affiliated with the event were eager to make their return. 

The athletic training group at the Trunk or Treat for Tots event. (Zoey Sigmon)

Jenny Sperry, student leadership coordinator, said the event before COVID-19 was held in residence halls but has since had to “pivot.” Sperry said following the pandemic, the first of the Trunk or Treat for Tots events was held last year, and moving forward, those involved were eager to make the next “bigger and better.”

Sperry said this year, partnerships of the event extended to a range of App State organizations including athletics, dean of students and more.

Tori Cook, president of the athletic training students’ association club, attended the event with athletics and said this was the organization’s second year coming to the event. Cook said those who came last year thought it was “really fun,” which led to their return. 

“We think this is a great opportunity to see people and just kind of mingle with other clubs, other organizations and also come hang out with the kids,” Cook said. 

Sperry, who co-coordinated the event with Katelyn Neeley, assistant student leadership coordinator, said they also included many other additions in the extension including a hot chocolate and cider tent, “twisty the balloon man” and an appearance from Yosef, App State’s mascot.

The App State volleyball team and Yosef pose for a picture at the Trunk or Treat for Tots event. (Zoey Sigmon)

“It’s just really heartwarming,” Sperry said. “Seeing all of our students engaging with the community, engaging with the kids and kind of building the gap between Boone and App State, you know?”

Austin Balent, a junior and president of the National Residence Hall Honorary, said the organization had taken part in the event for four years since 2018, not counting years lost to the pandemic. 

Balent said the Tots for Tots tent serves tater tots to those at the event, offers a variety of toppings and accepts donations at a $5 minimum. Balent said all proceeds from the event go to the Western Youth Network for North Carolina, which he feels is “really cool.”

“It’s just for all the kids in the high country to enjoy and have a good time and celebrate Halloween a little bit early and stuff like that,” Balent said. “It’s really fun just seeing everyone in their costumes; it’s really cute.”