Hallelujah Harvest Celebration offers alternative to trick or treating
Tyler Murdock, 3, plays a bean bag toss while Abby O'Donnell, a volunteer, looks on during the annual Ecumenical Hallelujah Harvest celebration held at the Main Post Chapel Oct. 31.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Members of the Aberdeen Proving Ground community were treated to an evening of fall fun at the 12th annual Hallelujah Harvest Celebration at the Main Post Chapel Oct. 31.

Gerri Merkel, director of Religious Education who helped organize the event with the assistance of 36 volunteers from the Protestant, Catholic and Gospel congregations, said that the Hallelujah Harvest is an alternative to Halloween trick or treating.

"The event offers a safe place for Families to bring their children," Merkel said.

Part of the fun during the event was that participants were asked to dress up in a biblically themed costume.

Installation chaplain (Col.) Wayne Boyd and his wife, Sharon, got creative and dressed as the Dead Sea and the Red Sea by wearing a black C with a skull and a red C decorated with brightly colored stickers on their chests.

Hannah, O'Donnell, who is a leader of the chapel's group Youth Apostles for Christ, said that volunteers in the group came as sheep and she dressed up as a sheppard.

"We do a variety of service projects including helping with chapel events," she said. For more information about Youth Apostles for Christ contact O'Donnell 443-567-3560.

At the event, attendees participated in activities inside the fellowship hall, and outside the chapel.

Some of the activities included face painting, bean bag toss, Bible bingo and a cake walk. Attendees were also treated to a spread of free food that included popcorn, wings, hot dogs, pizza, vegetables and fruit. Each attendee was also given a glow in the dark cross necklace and bag of candy.

Many guests commented that they enjoyed participating in the event.

Dieann Webb, who brought her two children to the event, said that they wanted to break their tradition of trick or treating and try something different this year.

"We are having a great time participating in the games together," she said. "My children especially enjoyed touring the ambulance and fire truck and talking to the firefighters. My son James wants to be a firefighter when he is older so this activity really sparked his interest."

Su-Ann Murdock, who attended with her two children, said that she was happy to see that there was a fun alternative to trick or treating on APG.

"We have participated in other events like this when we lived at Fort Riley, Kansas," Murdock said. "We don't go trick or treating so it is nice for the children to have a fun activity for the evening."

Merkel said that she appreciates all the support that the APG community gives to the event every year.

"I want to thank the Families who attended, the volunteers who supported the event and the APG Directorate of Emergency Services personnel who brought the ambulance and fire truck for
attendees to tour," Merkel said.

Merkel added that she wanted to thank Deneen Henson, from the Gospel congregation, Maj. Steven Simpson, deputy installation chaplain, and Staff Sgt. David Ribar, Sgt. Sonny Cooper and
Pfc. Billy Pardue, chaplain assistants, who were instrumental in planning and executing the event.

Page last updated Thu November 18th, 2010 at 13:00