Greek or Treat draws over 100 Syracuse children

The annual Halloween event pairs local children with SU student "bigs" for Halloween-centered activities.

On the afternoon of Halloween eve, several school buses pulled up to Walnut Park for the annual Greek or Treat. They released local school children, some dressed as tigers or their favorite character from Frozen. They were eager to meet up with their “bigs” and begin their Halloweekend festivities.

Each chapter held activities at all of the 12 houses on Walnut Avenue for local children, which included musical chairs, face painting, piñatas, bingo and, of course, plenty of candy. The event unites all six Greek councils, residing both on and off of Walnut at Syracuse University. It is one of the “only events that every single council takes parts in.

“They love the interaction, the attention one-on-one that S.U. students can give them.” -Bonnie Belcher, mentor manager of school-based Big Brothers Big Sisters

“It’s just a really great way to do something for the Syracuse community, to give back to them,” said Rayna Golub, the management senior who is head of philanthropy for the Panhellenic Council. “We all love being here so much and it’s just a nice way around Halloween time and the Holidays to bring them here and let them have a fun day.”

At the start of Greek or Treat, 150 children, excluding chaperones and unregistered participants, were expected to arrive. Each child was paired with a “big” who led them from house to house.

Many children came from after-school programs at varying Syracuse-area schools. While it was the first Greek or Treat for some children, some had participated for years and had formed relationships with their bigs.

Aniya Stanley, a nine-year-old from the Big Brothers Big Sisters after-school program, has attended Greek or Treat for years and named candy as her favorite aspect of the event. She said she has known her "big" for three years and she has taught her “life lessons.”

Bonnie Belcher, the mentor manager of school-based Big Brothers Big Sisters, has made Greek or Treat a tradition for her students.

“They love coming,” Belcher said of her students. “They love the interaction, the attention one-on-one that SU students can give them.”






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