Temple Police, Athletics partner for Avenue of Treats

More than 1,000 children are expected to attend the event along Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

Beech Community Services will host its 11th annual Avenue of Treats with Temple Police, Temple Athletics and local businesses on Tuesday between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Children can trick-or-treat between 17th and Broad streets along Cecil B. Moore Avenue as a part of a “Halloween Safety Zone.” The event will also feature a haunted house and zombie laser tag.

The Avenue of Treats is one of several safety zones in North Philadelphia where parents can ensure safe trick-or-treating.

Beech Community Services hosts the event every year because each Halloween, twice as many children are killed while walking around compared to any other day of the year, according to a release.

This year, 11 Temple Athletic teams will participate, said Larry Dougherty, a senior associate athletic director for men’s basketball and golf.

There will be 140 student-athletes participating in the event, many of whom will walk children across Cecil B. Moore Avenue safely, said Eileen Bradley, the captain of special services and the community liaison for Temple Police.

More than one in nine parents report allowing their children 5 years old or younger to trick-or-treat alone each year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide — a nonprofit that works to prevent childhood injuries.

Beech Community Services and its community partners want to ensure children’s safety during the holiday by providing a safe location for children to trick-or-treat.

“This is the only place for kids where they’re actually able to trick-or-treat,” said Monica Hankins-Padilla, the external relations coordinator at Campus Safety Services. “From observations, it’s definitely safer.”

Many homes will not be open to trick-or-treaters in the area, or may not be in safe or well-lit areas, Hankins-Padilla added.

Temple Police has opened a haunted house with student volunteers for several years, but this is the first time zombie laser tag will be available. The laser tag will be set up in the Beech Interplex building on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th Street.

“We’re excited, we’re upping the game this year,” Bradley added.

In its 11 years of existence, Bradley said she’s seen the event grow from a few hundred kids to more than a thousand who go from store to store collecting candy. Temple Police spent about $1,000 this year on the professional haunted house and candy for attendees, she added.

Student volunteers from Temple Athletics and other student organizations will also help Temple Police in its haunted house and other events on Tuesday.

Families from Tanner Duckrey Elementary School on Diamond Street near 15th and Paul Dunbar Elementary School on 12th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue are also invited to partake in the Halloween festivities.

Quintin Rose, a sophomore guard on the men’s basketball team, volunteered at the Avenue of Treats last year.

“It was pretty fun giving candy to the kids,” Rose said. “Seeing them smile, making them happy, it was cool.”

Rose will participate again this year with other members of his team, instead of trick-or-treating with his younger brother in Rochester, New York.

“It’s a good feeling, being able to give back to the community,” he added. “They support us in what we do, so the least we can do is support them and give back to them.”

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