Sweets and Treats

Ajla Nasic, Social Media Manager

Every Halloween, Downey families convene to enjoy the annual Apollo Park Pumpkin Patch, reveling in fall fun through the form of free food, carnival games, and costume contests.

Downey High based clubs, including Key Club, Encore, and AVID, encourage their members to volunteer their time at the family event, in exchange for community service hours and a chance to participate in the fall event.

AVID member, Jonathan Calderon, 11, offered to volunteer at the event, out of pure enjoyment for the holiday.

“Halloween is my favorite holiday,” Calderon said. “Seeing it bring people together and have fun makes this event a must for me every Halloween.”

In addition to featuring various defining aspects of Halloween and autumn, the event incorporates carnival games that engage children attending the event. Regardless of whether the trick-or-treaters are successful in playing the entertaining games, they are still rewarded with a handful of candy.

First-time volunteer and member of the Key Club, Jesus Aguayo, 10, worked the carnival game booths throughout the duration of his attendance.

“Giving kids toys and candy was one of the best parts about the pumpkin patch,” Aguayo said. “It really warms my heart seeing these kids get all ecstatic about winning a plastic spider ring and a tootsie roll.”

Among the attendees that chose to partake in the annual event, the majority consist of children, who participated in the various costume contests sponsored by the event.

After organizing his club’s position in the Apollo Park Pumpkin Patch, Key Club vice president, Earldrene Dubongco, 11, offered his time in aiding the event.

“I mainly chose to volunteer because I wanted to help my community,” Dubongco said. “People should attend the pumpkin patch because it’s fun and seeing kids happy makes me happy.”

The Apollo Park Pumpkin Patch is a free, annual event sponsored by both Downey Optimist and Soroptimist International.