Special Kids Day Organization adds Halloween to their yearly festivities for all ghouls and boys

The+Halloween+Dance+brought+on+by+The+Special+Kids+Day+Organization+starts+off+with+a+bang+bringing+around+20+people+to+the+dance+floor.+0ct.+22%2C+2017+
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Special Kids Day Organization adds Halloween to their yearly festivities for all ghouls and boys

The Halloween Dance brought on by The Special Kids Day Organization starts off with a bang bringing around 20 people to the dance floor. 0ct. 22, 2017

The Halloween Dance brought on by The Special Kids Day Organization starts off with a bang bringing around 20 people to the dance floor. 0ct. 22, 2017

Photo by Annika Tourlas

The Halloween Dance brought on by The Special Kids Day Organization starts off with a bang bringing around 20 people to the dance floor. 0ct. 22, 2017

Photo by Annika Tourlas

Photo by Annika Tourlas

The Halloween Dance brought on by The Special Kids Day Organization starts off with a bang bringing around 20 people to the dance floor. 0ct. 22, 2017

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Halloween to most kids is a day dedicated to dressing up and walking up and down the streets of Elmhurst searching for that one house with the king sized candy bars. However, The Special Kids Day Organization, based in Elmhurst, adds to these festivities with a Halloween dance.

On Oct. 22, at the Diplomat West, kids ages 12 and older let loose on the dance floor dressed in costumes of their choice. Walking onto the spooky dance floor with costumes ranging from pikachu to a unicorn, they were seen dancing to songs like Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Photo by Annika Tourlas
Community man Mark Mathews dances with Senior at York Michelle Zellinger. Oct. 22, 2017.

Some may see this dance simply as another activity to add to the endless amounts of Halloween pumpkin patches, however to the kids attending this dance it is so much more. This past Sunday was just one example of the events Special Kids Day provides to the Elmhurst community. In December, a Christmas party is held at Wilder Mansion as well as a carnival in August.

“These events provide a safe space for these kids to be themselves and to celebrate and have fun,” said volunteer Leslie Sulla. “It’s an easier space, and it’s more comfortable for them.”

Leslie Sulla and other friendly volunteers greeted kids walking into the dance. Adults were handing out customized party glasses and glow sticks to provide the kids with items to hold onto.

Once the glasses were on and the glow sticks were connected, the party really started. York students volunteered as dance partners to the children and adults attending. Some York Students were seen teaching kids the “Thriller” dance, and took part in the Conga line that circled around the entire venue.

Photo by Annika Tourlas
Attendees of the Halloween dance take part in a giant conga line, in the middle of the dance. Oct. 22, 2017

“I’m apart of best buddies so they asked if I could come and talk to them and help out,” said senior Nibia Joseph. “But in general I love coming to Special Kids Day functions because I feel like it’s really important to help out.”

Best Buddies volunteers weren’t they only York students there. Senior Caroline Thynebjerg showed off her dance moves after she requested to play her favorite song “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé. Senior Michelle Zellinger and junior Michael Regan jumped up and down as they belted out the words to “We’re All in This Together” from “High School Musical”.

Photo by Annika Tourlas
Junior Michael Regan and Senior Michelle Zellinger dressed as a unicorn caught on the dance floor jamming out to the YMCA. Oct. 22, 2017

Off the dance floor, attendees of the Halloween dance were offered free drinks and food to recharge so they could jump right back onto the dance floor just in time for the limbo. The DJ conducted group activities like the limbo, the cupid shuffle, and popular songs for everyone to sing.

Around 3:00 the music stopped, but the laughs and smiles continued even though the dance was over. Whether they dressed up, or not, kids walked out the doors of the Diplomat West reminiscing on the amazing time they had.

“I didn’t know what to expect since I have never volunteered with Special Kids Day before. The DJ played songs for everyone and the activities everyone could participate in,” said Junior Joanna Mathews. “It wasn’t just a party for the kids who went but for the adults and volunteers as well.”

Perhaps some had a good time because the DJ coincidentally played all their favorite songs, or maybe they were unable to attend trick or treating this year and this dance fulfilled them with the perfect amount of spooky feelings. The Special Kids Day organization wants everyone to smile, laugh, and dance without having to worry about safety or anxiety.

Photo by Annika Tourlas
Founder of Special Kids Day, Barb Rosenberg hugs daughter Heather Stalker in celebration of all the love present at the Halloween dance. Oct. 22, 2017

“I think SKD events bring a sense of community to the people who attend. It’s an opportunity for families to get together and just have fun,” said Heather Stalker. “There’s no judgment, everyone is equal.”

These events throughout the year are a prime example of the strong tight knit community Elmhurst has to offer. If you missed this past Sunday and are wanting to witness these inspirational and uplifting events, you can attend the annual Special Kids Day Holiday Party at Wilder Mansion on Dec.6 from 3:30- 8 p.m.

Photo by Annika Tourlas
The spooky dancers finish off the night with a kick line in celebration of Halloween. Oct. 22, 2017

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