Halloween Family Event 2015

Carl Dente, Freelance Writer

The ghastly ghouls were out in a full force for Halloween Family Party at the H&R MFRC, Halifax site, on Sunday, Oct 25th. Dozens of fearsome families crammed into the building to enjoy the devilish delights the hard working MFRC organizers had to offer.

People really got into the spirit of the occasion and had an amazing time. Not only was it a chance for kids and parents to show their creativity and have a blast, but because the party occurred a week before Halloween, it gave everyone a chance to wear their costumes twice! And it was evident that a lot of hard work went into making their costumes look convincing and stunning.

From the scary to the sweet, there were a wide variety of characters on display. The talent and creativity that went into making these outfits was truly inspiring. You could be looking at zombies and vampires one minute and a family of Minions the next. There were princesses and pirates, firemen and fairies. The diversity was astounding.

The award for the best costume of the day went to Ben Laroche for his robot costume called ‘Ben Bot’. His father, ‘Big’ Ben Laroche, helped him assemble it. ‘Ben Bot’ was a fully enclosed robot getup that was the colour of shiny metal and came fully featured with dials, robotic arms and an antenna.

The award for scariest costume went to Logan Carr for his Evil Jester. He wore a jester outfit, but his face was a decrepit skeleton with a sinister grin showing large, sharp, oversized teeth. When asked what it felt like to be the scariest person in the room he simply growled. No further questions were asked. Both Ben and Logan enjoyed a special bag of Halloween treats courtesy of the MFRC.

“It’s really cute to see all of the kids dressed up. And it’s nice to see the parents here too,” said Dana Wheeler, a Marine Engineer who brought her two young children to the party. “You always see people in uniform, so it gives you another perspective of who’s serving.”

Over twenty volunteers helped run the event with many more who dedicated hours of hard work towards planning and coordination. Andrea Milbery and Lindsay Mighten led the effort to run the day’s events and ensured that all activities went smoothly.

Kids were spooked by the Mad Scientists’ Lab run by the resident MFRC mad scientist, Brian. At the Spooky Graveyard the little ones were read spooky stories that sent chills through their bones. There were many other fun activities like the cupcake design table. But the biggest draw for most people was the pumpkin carving, where anyone could pick out a pumpkin and carve it out right there on the spot. It was a great way for families to mingle, socialize and enjoy their time together, which is what the MFRC is all about.

Darla Haverstock, a military spouse, comes to the MFRC events often. When asked about the events she said, “They’re so awesome. My husband happens to be deployed right now so we love stuff like this. It’s a fantastic resource. When my husband was deployed with HMCS Toronto we practically lived here.”

The MFRC Entrepreneurship Program also figured prominently at the front entrance. Two members of the Entrepreneur Club had tables set up and were trading their goods.

Melissa Walcott was selling specialty coffee called Organo, that is infused with an ancient Chinese ingredient called Ganoderma. The gourmet quality coffee comes from all over the world and is said to reduce inflammation and acid reflux. The coffee was delicious.

“Coffee is the easiest thing in the world,” said Melissa, “because everyone loves it. 82% of people in the world drink coffee or tea and it’s the second most consumed beverage in the world besides water.”

Melissa has been a member of the Entrepreneur Program since the spring and thinks it’s a great program because, “Anyone affiliated with the military can be a part of it, member or spouse.”

Teresa Marion also had a table set up. She was selling Narium anti aging cream. Teresa has been a part of the Club for a year and does it, “on the side, as a hobby.” Mike Dulude is the MFRC Program Coordinator for the Entrepreneurship Program. He says that spouses in military families are challenged when finding a job because the family is moving quite frequently. “Starting a small business and self-employment is a good, viable option for the spouse,” he said. “Plus it gives them flexibility when they are raising children. We provide a framework for them,” to start a business, said Mike. Through workshops, networking and mentorship programs, they make every attempt to set the member up for success.

“What makes this different from most other clubs is that all the members understand the military lifestyle, so they tend to help each other out rather than try to be the top dog. That type of collaboration is good for all of them.”

For more information on the Entrepreneur Program visit halifaxmfrc.ca and click on the Small Business Club link from the menu. To view photos of the Halloween Family Party, please visit: www.facebook.com/HalifaxRegionMFRC.