By Emilee Eustis Staff Reporter
The UMF Health Club is gearing up for one of their most popular events of the year, “Trick-or-Canning,” but their low member count is throwing a twist in their plans.
On Halloween night, the Health Club will split into two groups and walk through different neighborhoods in Farmington, collecting canned goods or non-perishable items to bring to local food pantries. This is not their first year doing the event, but the circumstances this time around have changed.
The planning for Trick-or-Canning has not been as extensive as it has in the past. “We are kind of just winging it,” said Alison Laplante, secretary of the Health club. “We have about five members who have come to the meetings.” It is still early in the semester and the group is hoping to spread the word about Health Club, and Trick-or-Canning, to get more interest.
This event is an important one to the members of the club and the local community, as it is something that they have done for many years and want to continue to do for years to come. “I love taking a holiday that has so many mixed feelings behind it and turning it into something positive,” said Health Club President, Caroline Donnell, in an email interview. Although it is her first year leading the group, Donnell is passionate and excited to get this program going and growing.
The group is refusing to let their small numbers affect such a kind act and are finding different ways for this event to be successful. “Normally this is run only by health club members,” said Laplante. “But this year we are inviting one of the Community Health classes to help out.” They are also welcoming volunteer help to hopefully increase their numbers and productivity.
Everyone who participates will dress in their best Halloween attire, baskets and all, to achieve the goal for this year’s Trick-or-Canning event. “We hope to fill the trunks of all the cars that are being used with the non-perishable goods,” said Donnell. The event has become more and more popular, with members of the community prepared to donate bags of canned goods at each stop.
The Health Club is proud of their efforts in bringing together members of the community and UMF students to achieve a common goal. “I just love the community aspect of it,” said Laplante. “A lot of people get excited and happy to participate, they are so appreciative of the work that we do.”
During their weekly meetings, Health Club members discuss more important events, like Trick-or-Canning, and fundraising ideas, so they can run more programs in Farmington and better their education.
“One of our fundraising ideas is selling our reusable grocery bags on campus,” said Laplante. “The money goes towards events we put on, or towards sending some of our members to certain health related conferences.”
If students would like to join Health Club, they can attend the club’s meetings which are held on Wednesday’s during common time. If students would like to volunteer for Trick-or-Canning they can either message the Health Club’s Facebook page, or email the Clubs President, Caroline Donnell, at firstname.lastname@example.org.