This year, Madonna made an appearance. So did the Incredible Hulk and two Oompa Loompas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—all in costume that is, at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center’s 14th-annual Halloween Party, a much-anticipated event for children and their families who receive their care at the Berrie Center.
Always held the day after Halloween, on the first day of November (which happens to be National Diabetes Month), the party provides kids the opportunity to swap the candy they collected the night before—for a fabulous toy of their choice. Other party activities included face-painting, party games, arts and crafts, diabetes-friendly snacks, and a magic act. This year, two adorable therapy dogs (real canines in costumes, one in a pirate shirt and one with pink hair) trained especially to work with patients in a variety of settings, were a special hit.
“It’s a great event for kids with diabetes,” said parent Cory Chargo, from Englewood, New Jersey, whose daughter Emily, 11, came dressed as a flying watermelon. “It takes the focus off of sweets and candy, and the kids don’t feel left out. They feel special.” Added Emily, “One of my favorite parts of the party is being surrounded by other people who have the same condition. It’s comforting.”
Started 14 years ago, the Berrie Center’s Halloween Party—where candy becomes a tool for teaching kids and families that you can include fun and celebration as well as planning and balance in diabetes-friendly eating—has become a model for similar programs throughout the country for children with type 1 diabetes. The Halloween party is underwritten by generous contributions of Berrie Center supporters.
Click here to support the wonderful Halloween tradition at the Berrie Center.