High school senior and Girl Scout, Mackenzie Cesnick, organizes a Trunk-or-Treat to raise money for her school’s Orchestra and Choir Program.

Keeping the Halloween tradition alive has been tough in 2020. COVID-19 has scared away family gatherings, birthdays and school events but with a little planning and trickery, kids can still get their share of treats. 

Enter the Trunk or Treat event—one of many “silver linings” of the pandemic that creative organizers like Mackenzie Cesnick have used to bring communities together.

Mackenzie Cesnick, 17, is a senior at Cleveland’s Avon Lake High School, has been in Girl Scouts for 13 years (since kindergarten) and is working on her Gold Award, which is the Girl Scouts of USA highest award. She is currently working on a project titled, “Senior Banners for Orchestra and Choir.”

Since we aren’t sure what fundraising will look like for the school this year, I wanted to get a fundraiser going to help both booster clubs and the community.

– Mackenzie Cesnick

“For my Girl Scout Award project, I have decided to design, and create senior banners for my orchestra and choir program,” she said. “Every year every person who participates in sports and band during their senior year gets a banner and it gets hung up in the school. The orchestra and choir are the only ones left in the music program that do not receive banners.”

To help with the cost of the banners, Cesnick has organized a Trunk-or-Treat in the parking lot at her high school on Oct. 31. For the event, ‘Trunkers’ can purchase a parking spot for $10 or a double spot for $15. There will also be a contest for the best decorated trunk. The ‘Trunkers’ will be the only people handing out treats/candy (bring enough for 250 kids). The ‘Treaters’ will be the children/families walking by the ‘trunks’. Organizers are also asking that those participating bring a non- perishable good for the Community Resource Services (CRS) in Avon Lake. There is a small $1 fee to attend the event mainly to cover insurance fees and a few other surprises. Any other monetary donations are greatly appreciated.

“Since we aren’t sure what fundraising will look like for the school this year, I wanted to get a fundraiser going to help both booster clubs and the community,” she said. “So with the unknown of how many households are participating on Halloween night this year due to the COVID pandemic, I thought it would be nice to offer a family-friendly event where it is a one-stop shop. No worries about how far the houses participating are for kids. Yes, we will require masks and social distancing.”

The Avon Lake Girl Scout Service Unit hopes to continue the Trunk-or-Treat event next year with proceeds benefiting scholarships for local Girl Scouts.

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