On Sunday, October 29th, Trinity College Athletics partnered with Trinity College’s A.C.E.S. (Annual Community Event Staff) to invite families from Hartford onto campus to go trick-or-treating on Vernon Street. The buildings on Vernon Street, including Greek houses, forms, and cultural houses, participate and host different activities centered around Halloween themes. Despite the rainy weather, Trinity College athletic teams including football, wrestling, squash, track & field, cross country, women’s tennis, and women’s lacrosse led groups of young children and adolescents around campus and helped facilitate cookie decorating, face painting, and other games.
Trinity College A.C.E.S. is a club that is dedicated to bridging the gap between the Hartford community and the Trinity College student body, as well as raising money for various local charity organizations. For many senior athletes, this was the first year they participated in Halloween on Vernon, and for many teams, the event was a huge success. Sonny Puzzo ’18, Trinity football’s record-breaking quarterback, has participated in many community events including a field day on Trinity’s campus as well as tutoring with the Hartford Elementary Schools. He shared his experience at Halloween on Vernon, explaining, “This was the first year that I participated in the event and one of the things that I was impressed with was how well the event was organized and the turnout of families even on a day where the weather was not very good. I think the impact on the community just by the turnout speaks for itself.”
Lucian Cascino ’18, a senior on the wrestling team, reflected on the event, stating, “It was a lot of fun to get to know a few members of the community and it was a lot of fun to interact with the kids in their costumes. I think it’s very important for Trinity to continue to build and strengthen its relationship with the city of Hartford as a whole and this is an excellent opportunity to continue to do so.”
Similarly, Allie Barrett ’18, co-captain of the women’s lacrosse squad, also participated in Halloween on Vernon for the first time. In asking about her about being able to interact with the Hartford community, Allie explained, “If I weren’t a senior I would absolutely volunteer again next year because I think its important to maintain a relationship within the Hartford community, especially with children. Showing kids a college campus and a college community is good to see at a young age. Halloween on Vernon is a fun way to incorporate safe trick or treating as well as intermingle residents in the area with Trinity students.”
The athletic department’s collaboration for the event proved successful. The Hartford community seeks the benefit of the volunteers of the athletic teams; however, the experience is a rewarding experience for the teams as well. Emily Llerena 18’, a tri-captain of women’s basketball, shared her team’s experience of the event. She exclaimed, “I think it's so important that we are involved in community events. We're lucky because it works two fold: we get to be involved with the local community, and we have an opportunity to bond as a team. Events like Halloween on Vernon are really special because not only do we get to connect with families and kids in the area, we also get to work on our team chemistry off the court.”
Halloween on Vernon proved to be a huge success due to the many volunteers of Trinity students. The senior leadership of the athletic teams feels confident that their teams will participate in the event and other community outreach projects in the future. Not only does the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) emphasize the hard work of its student-athletes, but also Trinity athletics strive to improve themselves inside the classroom, in their sport, and in their community.
written by Melissa Maffeo '18