Cruisin' for candy: Community, campus turn out for first event

Submitted photo 

Grayson Haney scouts out the scene while dad Matt Haney drives. 

Hundreds of vehicles and well over 1,000 adults and children traveled through Meridian Community College’s first Find Your Boo In Our Drive Through Candy Cruise, taking treats and leaving smiles and laughter.

“To say it exceeded our expectations would be an understatement,” said MCC President Thomas Huebner about the event hosted by the Eagle’s Nest Bookstore and held in Ivy-Scaggs Hall circle.

“This is just a good time for us to step in and say let’s put this on for the community,” said Cher Warren, bookstore manager. She added the reasoning behind Thursday’s event was to offer a safe option for families and kids looking for a place to trick or treat.

And did they ever find it. “This is a fantastic turnout,” Warren said just as the event was beginning, and vehicles were lining up throughout Ivy-Scaggs parking lot. Those lines would continue for nearly three hours.

Participants would drive through the circle, have their windows (or tailgates) open with bags at the ready for a candy drop, pause at a booth and move on to the next for more treats. First in line was a grandmother who had picked up her granddaughter, Joliegh Payne; they had waited for an hour for the event to start. Krystal Jones and her seven-year-old twin sons, Kyler and Kylan, were in the last vehicle to cruise through. Jones explained that she saw the traffic lines backed up seeing this event was worth the wait, so she returned for the treats. 

The College candy line was decorated in Halloween style and students, faculty and staff were decked out for the celebration. Overall, the parents passed out praises. “This is so easy,” said mom Kristy Manasco. “Everybody has been so good,” she said as she drove while daughter Greenly was in the back seat, waiting for the next stop.

Huebner noted a highlight was the overall College participation. “The faculty, staff and students had a great time building community and serving our community,” he said. “Maybe it’s because we’ve been isolated from each other for so long, but the energy and the sense of family was strong,” he added. Lady Eagle Basketball team members echoed the sentiments. “We wanted to do something for the kids, especially because of the COVID,” said team member Yolanda Nelson.

Jenny Bryan, clinical director and instructor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, said her students, who were dressed as Ole McDonald farm characters including cows, chickens and tractors, were troupers. “They wanted to be here even after they had a huge test today and another one tomorrow,” Bryan said. Students Paige Phillips and Brittany Allen agreed. “We wanted to give back to the community and to see all the kids and the dogs in the cars,” Allen said.

Warren offered thanks to the College and community as well. “We are blessed to work with so many people that all have the same vision and desire to see MCC succeed in Meridian and surrounding areas.”


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