Superheroes, princesses, ghouls, villains, and more descended en masse upon the western parking lot at Porter Regional Hospital Tuesday evening in search of one thing— candy.
Hospital staff filled the lot with elaborately decorated cars and handed treats to coworkers’ children as part of the organization’s second annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat festival.
For her first year as a participant, Porter Regional social worker Bridget Loker, got together with two other members of her team to outfit the trunk of an SUV and rotate minding the candy bowl.
“I saw how much fun everyone had participating last year, and I know that the kids really enjoy it, so our department wanted to get involved,” Locker said. “We taped garbage bags to the back to make a black background and everybody brought some decorations. And we put it all together for a scary Halloween theme.”
She looked forward to touring the lot alongside her daughter who would be dressed up as Charlie Chaplin.
This year’s event boasted over 40 festive cars, more than double the number of participants from last year. Decorations ranged from heartfelt harvest and spooky horror to recreations of the land of Oz and the Wonka Chocolate Factory. One car even had a life-sized interactive recreation of the Operation board game.
“We were looking for new ways to do fun things with our employees and this surfaced as an idea,” said Kelly Credit, Regional Director of Marketing and Communications at Porter Regional, about the origins of the event.
“It’s great to see this many employees out with their families,” she continued. “It’s fun to see them in a different environment.
Towards the front of the lot, a safari of inflatable animals enticed children to grab a treat. Organized by Porter Regional’s executive team, it was a popular destination throughout the night.
“I like to see my staff having fun together with their kids and their families and get to know them outside of the office,” said Chief Operating Officer Lauren Hull.
As the sun started to set, the Center for Cardiovascular Medicine waiting area began to fill up. As families took the opportunity to warm up, kids showed off their sugary bounties and snacked on free hot dogs.
Some attendees, like 9-year-old Hailey Pistorio, waited in line to get their faces painted by art students from the local high school. The South Central Elementary School student was thrilled to come and show off her Supergirl costume.
“She [Supergirl] is my favorite superhero,” Pistorio said.
When her grandmother, part of the hospital’s radiology department, told her about the event, she said she got very excited about all the candy she’d be able to collect, especially her favorite.
“Kit Kat,” Pistorio said, “because it’s chocolate.”
For more information about care services available at Porter Regional Hospital, visit their website at https://www.porterhealth.com/.