SAAC hosts trunk or treat for children in West Haven area


Photo courtesy of Kayla Mutchler

Members of the tennis team hand out candy to a child outside of the Charger Gymnasium, Oct. 29, West Haven

Halloween came early at the University of New Haven as children from the West Haven area dressed as superheroes, mermaids, unicorns, cats, angels and more filled the outside of the Charger Gymnasium on Oct. 29 for a trunk-or-treat. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted the event with various Charger Athletics sports teams.

Children and parents were able to walk up to tables that were separated by sport, from baseball to volleyball, softball, among others. Each table displayed unique decorations and candy for the children. Some athletes even took to dressing up, too, in costumes like Spider-Man and Young Monica from “Love and Basketball.”

Besides the candy, there was also a table with carved pumpkins and a dog that spectators were able to pet.

Associate athletic director and advisor of SAAC Sara Richwine helped plan the event alongside students in the organization. She said that SAAC is a collection of student representatives from each athletic team at the university. They are able to vote on NCAA rulings and initiatives, as well as participate in community outreach and host events based on various topics such as mental health.

Richwine also said that she thinks it’s wonderful that the university hosts events such as this one.

Abby Murphy, a sophomore business management major and member of the volleyball team, said that the event was a great experience, especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s great to see all the kids coming out,” she said. “Even with COVID still impacting them, they still get to have a fun time on a holiday they enjoy.”

Murphy described the process behind setting up the volleyball table. As a member of SAAC, she told her teammates when to come and gave details of coordinating decorations.

Zachary Pincince, a senior sports management major and member of the baseball team, said that SAAC sent out flyers to local elementary schools to promote the event.

On the day of the event, the university provided tables to each team and allowed them to set it up however they wanted.

He also said that it was nice to see all of the children and parents that went, and that he liked many of the costumes.

Camryn Debose, a senior forensic psychology major and basketball team member, said that it was nice to see the turnout since they could not host the event last year. Before the event, her team coordinated what to bring and what costumes to wear and helped set up the table.

“We love doing community outreach, especially with SAAC,” said Richwine, “and just being able to connect with kids in the community and interact with people is more rewarding than pretty much anything.”

She also said she enjoyed seeing all of the people that showed up. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do an event like this, so it’s pretty special.”