At first glance, Halloween might seem to be job security for dentists. But the real spirit of Halloween lies in the ability to become whoever you want for one night.
Marie Colette, a lifelong Lake Bluff resident and real estate agent at Griffith, Grant & Lackie Realtors, is collecting Halloween costumes to help spread that spirit to less-fortunate kids.
“The first Halloween, my family lived on Rockland Avenue and we were new to the neighborhood,” Colette said. “We had just moved in Oct. 1. We noticed how many kids came by with no costumes — there were probably 50-60 of them.”
Halloween is a big event for Colette's family, and they were sad to see kids missing out.
That experience led Colette to collect donated Halloween costumes this year, beginning what she hopes will grow into an annual organization.
Colette is collecting donated Halloween costumes for kids of all ages at the Griffith, Grant & Lackie Realtors office. The last day for donations is Oct. 24. Drop donations at the Griffith, Grant & Lackie offices in Lake Forest (678 N. Western Ave.) or Lake Bluff (8 E. Scranton Ave.).
“Marie is an excellent real estate agent, but more importantly, she is a wonderful person. When she came to me and asked if she could use our offices as a drop-off points for the collection of Halloween costumes, I welcomed the idea with open arms,” said Brad Andersen, managing broker.
So far, Colette's mission has spread by word of mouth and email blast, resulting in the small base of costumes occupying her home and office.
“I didn't expect people to be excited about it,” Colette said. “I was very surprised at how quickly there was a response.”
Colette contacted six organizations to distribute the costumes at local schools. Some of the organizations sell the costumes for $1, which is donated entirely to the school.
“That's up to the organizations. For some families, it's a matter of pride, but everyone can afford just a dollar and it goes to the schools and teachers who need it,” she said.
More costumes are needed. New, gently used and handmade costumes are accepted. Bring costumes for ages infant through teen, but Colette said costumes for infants and older children, ages 9 to 10, are needed in particular.
Colette has received many generic costumes such as a firefighter or witch — don't be afraid to think outside the box and get costumes for specific characters, like superheroes or cartoon characters.
If you don't have time to shop or find costumes, Colette also is accepting monetary donations.
“I like seeing the kids being free and creative, and enjoying pretending,” Colette said. “They can do and be whatever they want.”
For more information, contact Colette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-847-234-0816.