By: Taryn Mondiello, PharmD Candidate c/o 2015
Halloween came early this year to St. John’s University and to the children at the “Hour Children” program in Long Island City. On Wednesday October 30th, Phi Lambda Sigma, also known as the Pharmacy Leadership Society, hosted their 12th Annual Healthy Halloween, a Halloween celebration for local children that emphasizes maintaining good health while still enjoying the holiday. The participants ranged from kindergarteners to freshmen in high school. Members of various student organizations, including the American Pharmacists Association, Fashion Club, Lambda Kappa Sigma, Muslim Students Association, Phi Delta Chi, Raaz, and Rho Chi, also volunteered their time and contributed to the success of the event. Together, the organizations transformed the D’ Angelo Center Organization Lounge into a Halloween festival, complete with decorations, candy, and even a haunted house.
Similar to previous years, Healthy Halloween was sponsored by Walgreens Pharmacy. Two Walgreens pharmacy supervisors, Louis and James, both St. John’s University alumni, gave a presentation on the importance of oral hygiene. The pharmacists stressed to the young audience that while it is okay to have candy, it is imperative that they brush their teeth right after to avoid cavities. They demonstrated how much toothpaste to use and how long to brush. They even had the kids form a chain that resembled teeth to demonstrate how to floss correctly, using a rope to represent a piece of floss. At the end of the session, the kids were given goody bags that included Halloween toys, pencils, candy, toothbrushes, and dental floss.
Each student organization that participated was in charge of their own station that the kids rotated around. For example, Phi Delta Chi entertained the children with their “haunted hallway,” an activity they host every year. Members of the organization closed off the hallway outside of the Organization Lounge and transformed it into a haunted house. Another organization, The Fashion Club, painted faces and fulfilled requests ranging from a cat to the more elaborate designs, including “The Joker” from the Batman series. Known for their artistic skills, Raaz and Lambda Kappa Sigma assisted the children in pumpkin decorating. Members of American Pharmacists Association used toilet paper to see who could wrap the best mummy in their “Mummy Wrapping Contest.” Furthermore, the Muslim Student’s Association helped kids make face masks out of paper plates. After rotating around the individual stations, the kids relaxed and enjoyed healthy yet tasty snacks such as cheese, crackers, fruits, and vegetables, all donated by Rho Chi.
Rosa Yen, Director of Multicultural Affairs at St. John’s University, played a major role in helping Phi Lambda Sigma plan the event. Rosa coordinated transportation to campus, and also generously donated 50 pumpkins for them to decorate during the event. She also provided pizza to student volunteers during event set up.
Lisa, one of the directors of “Hour Children,” told Rosa, “Thank you once again. The children couldn’t stop talking. The haunted house and decorating were most talked about.” Overall, the children had a wonderful time and also learned a few tips on staying healthy during Halloween season. Phi Lambda Sigma and all the other participating organizations hope to continue their annual tradition to inform kids on healthy eating and hygiene.