An annual “Trunk or Treat” event became a tribute to a lifelong church member who was committed to the community. Trunk or Treat is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional Hallowe’en activities, so named because kids can go from car to car in a church or school parking lot and get candy, rather than house to house trick or treating.
Bunde Christian Reformed Church near Clara City, Minn., was planning to host its annual event at the church on October 31. However, five days before the event, church member Eugene “Gene” Schwitters, 65, was killed in a farming accident.
Because the family was having a difficult time finding a large enough space for the visitation, Christy Groen, organizer of the Trunk or Treat event, decided to cancel the event so that the church could be used. The Schwitters family didn’t want the event to be canceled because Gene loved outreach, said Groen. “I agreed that this was Gene’s passion but explained how difficult it would be to hold the event without many of our volunteers [who wanted] to support the family by attending the visitation.”
Volunteers had already purchased enough food to host a light supper for 250 people. So Groen and Schwitters’s family decided to donate the food in tribute to Gene to two charities he had worked with: LifeRight Ministries, a drug and alcohol treatment program in Wilmar, and Ridgewater Campus Ministry Center, a campus ministry at Ridgewater College supported by Bunde CRC.
“Both of these ministries were so thankful for the food donation in memory of Gene,” Groen said.