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Sororities' Halloween event caters to kids

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2007 12:00 am

Jacob Sedesse, 5, waited in line for candy on West Panhellenic Drive wearing a No. 49 Gators football jersey for his Halloween costume.

Jacob said he had just participated in an egg race where he dashed toward a finish line, balancing an egg on a spoon.

Even though he didn't win, Jacob got some candy anyway. Now he was coming back for more.

The Panhellenic Council's Junior Panhellenic division held its annual "Ghouls, Goblins, and Greeks" service project Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

During the event, sororities hosted games for the children and handed out candy at each sorority house. The project is a Halloween event that is open to families in Gainesville.

"I like everything," Jacob said, holding a bag half-full of candy. "I like the girls."

Jacob's mother, Barb Sedesse, said this was the third year she took him to the event.

"They do such a great job," Sedesse said. "They fall all over the kids and make them feel so welcome."

Each of the 16 sorority houses had its own theme, including "Under the Sea" and "The Wizard of Oz."

"It's awesome because the whole family comes," said Lauren Colclasure, associate director of community events for the Panhellenic Council's Junior Panhellenic division. "We just hung out with an 18-month-old and a 12-year-old. Everybody comes out."

Colclasure said 900 children attended last year's event. Within the first hour of this year's event, 300 costumed children had arrived.

Sheri Sheehan brings Rachel, her 10-year-old daughter, to the event every year.

"It's safe and they give away gobs of candy. I don't have to worry if it's tainted," Sheehan said. "By the time we leave here, we're pooped and she's got plenty of candy."

Rachel, who was dressed as a cheerleader, said her favorite part was meeting SpongeBob SquarePants at the Pi Beta Phi Sorority house, which boasted a Nickelodeon theme.

Sorority members also handed out free pizza to children from the 60 boxes donated by Domino's Pizza. Goody bags that were handed out to children contained coupons from companies including Blockbuster and Crispers.

Samantha Dalton, Junior Panhellenic division director, said she thought this was the most important event the council hosts.

"It's important to have a safe alternative for kids to go to," Dalton said. "It's a favorite event for everyone from what I hear."

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