BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Lois Stuckey lives in Bonaire subdivision off Essen near I-12.
“I bought this house two and a half years ago,” Lois explains. “And the first Halloween, I set up my candy and I had my inflatables in the front yard and everything... and no kids. I was in tears. I was like, ‘What is wrong?’”
Lois said the second year, the same thing happened.
So this year, she reached out to a non-profit organization called 1031 Consortium for some suggestions.
“Our main objective is to give all of the children in the Baton Rouge area a safe and happy Halloween,” 1031 founder, Kelley Stein, explains. “And we do that in several ways: helping with Halloween parties, helping with safe trick-or-treat practices, and you know, revitalizing trick-or-treat.”
Kelley knows from past experience that community events like trick-or-treating are things that bond.
“Trick-or-treat shows the pulse of the neighborhood, and you recognize the value of neighborhood events and what they can really do to bring safety and a sense of community and togetherness. That is what we’re all about. That is what trick-or-treat is all about.”
So when Lois contacted Kelley at 1031 about ways to use trick-or-treating to help build community, Kelley knew exactly what to suggest. “So after we talked with them a bit and kind of did a little bit of research on our own, we came back with a suggestion that they should just start out with a neighborhood party," she said.
Kelley suggested that would be a good way to get the ball rolling toward a more traditional trick-or-treat event in the neighborhood.
Then, Kelley contacted WAFB’s Hand It On program and nominated the Bonaire subdivision for this week’s cash award.
We met Lois in Bonaire for the surprise!
“We have nominated you, Lois, because you are doing something really wonderful for your neighborhood,” Kelley began as she handed Lois three 100 dollar bills.
“And so we have $300 here to go toward your Halloween party!” Lois became emotional, eyes filling with tears.
“I was not expecting this at all. I was just getting help. Thank you. Oh my gosh. This is the coolest thing ever. I don’t know what to say. Wow. We’ll be able to do a lot with this, so I appreciate it so much.”
We encourage you to get involved with the 1031 Consortium by visiting their website at www.1031consortium.com. Not only do they help neighborhoods like Bonaire, they have many fun, exciting events too, most of which are fundraisers.
They also do a huge costume and candy drive each year which is going on now. They have over 15 locations collecting candy and costumes for Halloween. Once all costumes are collected, they match them with wish lists for children who need them.
This year’s beneficiaries are the kids in the Melrose Place subdivision. Anything left over goes to the Big Buddy Program and their costume giveaway day, where anyone from anywhere can head to North Sherwood Forest Community Park on October 14 to get a free costume!
The main event of the 1031 Consortium’s Fifolet Halloween Festival is the Baton Rouge Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 27. The parade goes through downtown Baton Rouge. Children in the Big Buddy Program who receive costumes from 1031 Consortium will be marching in the Halloween Parade again this year.
And finally, if you’d like to nominate and organization or individual for Hand It On, send an e-mail to HandItOn@WAFB.com. Make sure to include your contact information, especially your phone number.