Northwestern University’s Norris University Center will be the stage for a fun Halloween party for area children Thursday.

Project Pumpkin 2008 “transforms Norris into a Halloween paradise, filled with fun activities and lots of candy,” says Northwestern junior Sharanya Jaidev, a special events co-chair for the Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC).

Trick-or-treating will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 30) at Norris Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus.

Project Pumpkin is an annual event sponsored by NCDC, a student-run group that seeks to engage in community building and development on campus and across the local communities. Jaidev, along with her fellow co-chair, sophomore Alyssa Detwiler, head a 42-person committee that plans to make this year’s event another success.

The youngsters attending Project Pumpkin are from the Chicago and Evanston area. Buses transport them from various schools and after-school programs. Many arrive dressed in their Halloween costumes. Northwestern faculty and staff are encouraged to bring their children. NCDC expects more than 1,100 community members to attend this year’s event.

Children aged 4 to 13 can look forward to a variety of activities, including braving through the Haunted House, hearing spooky stories and bobbing for apples. Games and arts and crafts projects are also planned.

NCDC makes this event possible with the help of many Northwestern students. About 50 student groups, residential halls, and Greek organizations host activity booths, wear costumes, and chaperone the children who attend Project Pumpkin.

Project Pumpkin was introduced in the late 1980s and it continues to grow every year. It stands as one of the largest student-run community service projects on the Evanston campus.

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