Children dealing with illness said, “boo” to being sick as they sported costumes for Classic LifeCare’s first-annual Halloween Howler Kids Party in Calgary on October 26.
By Lissa Miles
Classic LifeCare organized the Howler at the Kerby Centre to celebrate its pediatric clients through FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities) and through a home care contract with Alberta Health Services.
A sensory table of ooey, gooey things to feel, pin the spider on the web, face painting, crafts, music, food and six furry guests from PALS (Pet Access League Society) greeted the children in attendance.
Three-year-old Joshua, who dressed as a fireman, said the best thing about the Halloween Howler was the cookies, while he finished his fourth.
The event was an incredible success according to Jillian Lints, event organizer and community relations representative for Classic LifeCare.
“It was so great to see some of our pediatric clients through Alberta Health Services and some of our FSCD kids here,” said the Tinker Bell, clad Lints. “This was a great opportunity to give back and to see these kids outside of their schools and homes just being kids.”
Lints said it’s amazing what some of the families in attendance have to deal with, yet all of them had smiles on their faces.
PALS volunteer Janie Docouto and her Standard Poodle Mariah attracted a lot of attention from the kids in attendance.
Docouto was appropriately dressed in a poodle skirt and crouched to eye level with the kids as they gave Mariah some scratches.
“I wanted to give back at events like this and that’s why I volunteer with PALS,” said Docouto, whose oldest daughter has a terminal illness. “Mariah always instinctively knows who needs the most attention and she makes a point of spending time with them. Her coat is unique and very tactile so people love to pet her.”
The duo volunteers at events like the Howler throughout the city, at Calgary hospitals and has visited the Mustard Seed.
The PALS pooches were completely unphased by costumes like an astronaut, lion, super hero, penguin, alligator and ballerina.
Lints said the Howler was a great way to let the community of Calgary know about Classic’s services for children and to honour its current pediatric clients.
“These kids are amazing. They have such hard lives, yet they are still just kids who want to have fun. I’m so happy we put on this event!”
By Lissa Miles