Every year Saint Leo University hosts the Haunted Marmion. The Halloween festival includes games, food, and a haunted house inside the Marmion and Snyder dorms. The event is suitable for children and adults, making it a fun time for everyone. The event takes a lot of time and work to put together and, to make it the best festival possible, it takes many volunteers.
“We usually have about 100 volunteers between both of our areas,” explained Jennifer Garcia, Director of First Year Experience. “We roughly have 25 people in our children’s section, and the others work for the food and haunted houses.”
The only requirements needed to volunteer are to have an interest and to be willing to get involved. Students can volunteer up until the day before the event is held, and the hours are flexible to accommodate schedules. There are various sections that need volunteers, such as games, food, face painting, and the haunted house.
Jesus Santana, a political science major, was involved in the event last year, helping with various activities throughout the night.
“I loved to see the intermingling with the children and parents that attended from the community,” said Santana. “It’s a great way to be with friends and family. It also brings everyone away from academics for a while and allows everybody to have down time for a night.”
Jazmine Stevenson, a Graduate Assistant in First Year Experience, added, “My favorite part was seeing how much the University students and staff got involved, with some even bringing their families to last year’s event.”
Garcia agreed. “I love seeing the kids get excited because of the candy and haunted houses,” she said.
Santana also noted the bonding over costumes. “I saw people talking about each other’s costumes, which was a really cool addition to the event,” Santana added. He said that he is excited about this year’s festival, and suggests that everyone should attend.
The event lasts for two hours, both of which are filled with fun activities for all ages. There is face painting, candy, and games for children and a haunted house for the teens and adults.
“We anticipate there will be around the same number of people who came as last year, which was about 600 to 700 people,” Garcia said. “Domino’s Pizza is donating food, and it usually lasts the majority of the event. The volunteers will get pizza at the end of the night, and we order more to make sure every volunteer gets to eat.”
First Year Experience and Residence Life are organizing the festival for both the University and the surrounding community.
“The festival is a great way to reach out to the community and to get students more involved with on-campus activities,” said Garcia.
Saint Leo University asks those who attend to bring canned food, which will be donated to the local food bank. If anybody is interested in volunteering they can contact; firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.