With the cancellation of the Halloween Haunted Trail at Downs Park, the drug abuse resistance education (DARE) celebration is the only child-oriented event sponsored by the county for the ghoulish holiday.
And Cpl. Robert K. Moore and the other seven police officers who make up the county's DARE Unit are stopping at nothing to make Halloween safe for young trick-or-treaters at its first-ever celebration from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 at the old Brooklyn Park High School on Hammonds Lane.
"There are alternatives to drugs, and some of these alternatives, like this one, are stuff that we can help with," Moore said. "This is a day for the children, and we want it to be safe for them."
The event is designed to raise money for the anti-drug program, which buys DARE bracelets, pencils and pens for fifth-graders in county elementary schools, Moore said.
"That's almost 5,000 kids a year, and in today's budget crunch, it's hard to get that money," he said. "So we want to give something back to the community and hope that the community will help support us."
The celebration will include a trip through a haunted house, raffles and a costume contest for infants through adults between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded in different age groups.
Local PTAs will sell food and award prizes for games.
Moore said the unit targets fifth-grade students because they are on the verge of moving to middle school.
"In elementary school, just about everything you do, you do holding someone's hand," he said. "That hand disappears in middle school, and we want to hit them before they go to middle school, where drug offers become more prominent."
The anti-drug unit, which has been in the county since 1990, has spoken to more than 40,000 pupils about the dangers of drug abuse, Moore said.
Pub Date: 10/19/96