COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston’s (BGCK) annual Halloween party, an important annual fundraiser in support of the local United Way. To make up for the loss, they’ve announced a $5 Halloween photo contest.
For the past six years, BGCK’s Halloween party has drawn crowds of 500 people or more to their West End Hub. Through the event, their total contribution to the United Way of Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) has exceeded $14,000, they said. BGCK is itself a registered charity, a leading provider of educational and development programming for children through out the area.
“There is always great community expectation around dressing up for Halloween, and costumes have always been a highlight of our parties,” said Amanda Guarino, Supervisor of Community Engagement at the BGCK. “We wanted to keep this Halloween spirit going and engage the community in a way that would be accessible regardless of how COVID-19 changed particular celebrations.”
The Photo Contest has four categories, each with their own prizes. Children, youth, family, and community groups can participate by submitting a photo “in character” with a $5 entry fee.
Although Kingston, Frontenac Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health has given the green light to trick-or-treating during the pandemic, Guarino said this gives children and families a way to be part of the celebration “without leaving home.” Photo submissions and entry fee payments will be accepted online until Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.
“We are hoping our contest builds a different and strong Halloween community tradition,” she said. “We can’t wait to see the community get creative and engaged with different costumes.”