Jayhawks Collect Food Items During Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat Event

LAWRENCE, Kan. – More than 100 student-athletes, many dressed in costume, spent a portion of Thursday evening mingling with families as Kansas’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted a Trick-or-Treat So Others Can Eat event as part of KU’s Crimson and Boo weekend inside the Booth Hall of Athletics. With the help of attendees, SAAC was able to fill two collection barrels with non-perishable food items to be donated to Just Food, one of Douglas County’s food banks. 

The safe, family friendly event offered children from the community an opportunity to meet a large contingent of Jayhawk student-athletes, with sticker book passports tracking visits to each team in attendance, and game stations and candy distribution among the other highlights. Additionally, this year’s attendees were entered into a drawing for an autographed basketball by Kansas head men’s coach Bill Self (winning ticket #6734019). 

“I’m really happy with how many people came out, we’re having a lot of fun playing with the kids and they all seem really excited to come to our stations and play games and get candy,” SAAC President Maddie Irelan said. “It’s always fun to do stuff in the community and invite people into our area and spend time, especially with kids. It’s fun to interact with them and being in costumes just makes it all better too.

“We’re doing all of this for Just Food. To get in, every person had to bring a non-perishable food item or make a cash donation to Just Food. In the end, everyone in here is doing something for the community, which makes it that much better to do it together.”

Irelan and her Kansas rowing team were dressed as M&Ms and other Jayhawk teams went with themed costumes, including the swimming and diving team as dolphin trainers and the women’s track and field team as the characters from Scooby Doo.

Kaci Runnebaum, who attended along with her husband, saw the event on Facebook and thought it’d be a good way to introduce her 15-month-old son, dressed as a puppy, to Halloween and see some Kansas student-athletes. 

“It’s just a safer atmosphere, easier to be inside,” Runnebaum said. “We had a great time. It’s been fun seeing everybody and getting together. My husband is a huge fan of the men’s basketball team and everyone else has been really great too.”

A number of events surround Homecoming and K Club Weekend at Kansas, which coincides with Halloween this year. In addition to Thursday night’s collection, Jayhawk SAAC will be patrolling the tailgate lots at Saturday’s football game from 1-2 p.m., collecting non-perishable food items for Just Food and several collection bins will be placed at the base of Campanile Hill.  

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