Musings on Halloween in Rutherford

From the President’s Pen: October 2015

Families with young children may be wondering, “Is Rutherford a safe neighborhood to take my kids trick-or-treating?”

The answer from my end of Kristin Lane is an unqualified YES!  Rutherford is a very safe neighborhood for kids, and Halloween is one of the best nights of the year for our children to get to know their community better.

Our media sensationalizes any crime involving a child.  The truth is that nationally, crime levels for abductions and other “stranger” crimes involving children are low, even though the perception of such crime is up.  As for Halloween, common sense and appropriate supervision are the keys to safety.

Halloween is a magical night when we get to open our doors to give and receive warm, friendly greetings. We get to briefly see and interact with kids we don’t see the rest of the year. And children get to discover that behind the closed doors, their neighbors have kind and caring faces. Halloween is a time for kids to appreciate the breadth of their neighborhood, and most importantly, come to believe that their community is a good place to live in and get to know better as they grow.   Another bonus:  there is a true magic in being outdoors at night; and the moon will be just past full this year!

I came down to the Trunk of Treat event at the pool last year and was absolutely delighted by the energy, creativity, neighborliness and FUN going on!  I thought it was an unqualified success at giving kids an exciting place to run around, while their parents had the opportunity to visit and relax together, and build a sense of community.

But it was never intended to be a substitute for door-to-door trick-or-treating.  I encourage parents to take their children, even the small ones, out at least on their own block. I’ve heard some say that too many houses are dark on Halloween night.  It can be a vicious cycle.  Not as many kids come, so fewer neighbors choose to give out candy…. so fewer kids go out… and so on.  Let’s keep this night vital and robust this year!  DO go down to the pool for a while.  This year the Fall Festival is happening together with Trunk or Treat!  You can
bring your decorated car, or just come on down for goodies, and participate in the Fall Festival games and crafts. Then head out on the streets for awhile as well.  Let your objective be to be neighborly on the night when you’ll see more neighbors than any other night of the year!

Kudos to those neighbors who make Halloween night especially memorable: those who add a personal touch, like my neighbor who sits on his porch and plays guitar to greet the gremlins.  Or the good folks on Marley who put out chairs and offer parents a drop of iquid
refreshment and conversation to keep spirits merry.  What can you do to make your home or block a memorable, welcoming place?  Let’s get creative and adventurous and have a Halloween to remember!

Julia Wilson, President, Rutherford Civic Association

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Updated: October 13, 2015 — 5:36 pm

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