Scaring up fun for all ages
Dragons, princesses and superheroes took over the Forbes College
dining room Monday as the University hosted a Halloween brunch that
bridged generations of Princeton residents through food and fun.
Some 135 residents of local senior citizen housing facilities enjoyed the brunch along with more than 50 students from the University League Nursery School. The youngsters got an early start on their trick-or-treating by making the rounds in the dining room to get treats from the senior citizens. The kids also decorated cookies, shared high-fives with the Princeton tiger mascot and serenaded the guests with holiday tunes such as "I'm a Little Jack O'Lantern" and "Five Little Pumpkins."
The University's Department of Dining Services organized and staffed the brunch. Stu Orefice, director of dining services, noted that the annual event's popularity has grown considerably since the first brunch in 2000, which was attended by about 70 senior citizens and 10 kids.
Donna Pilenza, an area manager in dining services who helped coordinate the brunch, said, "It's absolutely wonderful to be involved in this event. It's a great way for the town and the University to come together and do something for the senior citizens. Most of them live in neighborhoods where they don't have a lot of kids coming to trick-or-treat."
After filling bags of candy for a group of kids, local resident Evelyn Voorhees said she always enjoys the University's Halloween brunch.
"This is a time to get together with some people we don't see often and to see the children, which is a joy. And the food is spectacular," she said. "This is my third year coming here, and every year it gets better." Voorhees is an administrative assistant for the Princeton Senior Resource Center, a nonprofit that provides programs and services for area senior citizens and helped organize attendees for the Halloween brunch.
Susan Taylor, director of the University Art Museum, joined in the festivities as a helping parent for the University League group. "This is a core mission of the University -- connecting the community to the University," she said.
The University League -- which includes many children from families affiliated with the University as well as others from the Princeton area -- sent students from its 4-year-old classes for the second straight year.
"This is a highlight of our fall season," said Cindy Williams, the school's director. "After our school parade, the children were eager to get on the bus to see the senior citizens. They've been practicing all month to sing their Halloween songs."