Missouri Guard Patriot Center hosts second annual Halloween open house

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Local daycares attended the open house for trick or treating and a hayride

The Missouri National Guard's Patriot Center hosts their second annual Halloween open house. Local daycares attended the open house for trick or treating and a hayride. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office.)

By Sgt. Sarah E. Lupescu
ngmo.pao@us.army.mil

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri National Guard's Patriot Center hosted their second annual Halloween open house at the Ike Skelton Training Site for local area children.

The Patriot Center staff hosted activities for Service member's children and community daycares - including providing candy for trick or treat and hay rides.

"The idea to host an open house didn't really start until after the first one happened," said Stephanie Danner, a yellow ribbon program coordinator. "All of the staff decided to dress up in costumes from the "Wizard of Oz" and we invited my son's daycare to trick or treat and tour our facility."

This year, the staff dressed up as character's from Walt Disney's "Toy Story". Nakole Wooley, State Youth Coordinator, suggested the "Toy Story" theme so there would be ample characters for all staff to choose from.

"When I first heard we were doing a Toy Story theme, I had no idea how it was going to turn out," said Col. Gary Gilmore, the chief of spiritual and emotional resiliency. "But the staff really pulled it off."

In planning for this year's Halloween event, the Patriot Center decided to make a couple changes in the festivities.

"For the second open house, we invited several area daycares and decided to take them on a hayride and we had a designated Halloween photo area to take group pictures," said Danner.

Hosting an open house at the Patriot Center serves a dual purpose, said Danner. It gives the community an opportunity to interact with their local Missouri Guardsmen. It also provides a chance for Ike Skelton Training Site staff members to visit with the Patriot Center staff and see what benefits are available to them and their Families.

"Part of our mission is outreach to the community, and this event is a great opportunity for people in the area to learn more about who we are and what we do," said Danner. "As an organization that seeks to help Service member families and increase awareness of our mission and of the products and services that we offer, an open house is a natural way to spread our message."

Upon arrival, the children were welcomed by Sgt. Sherman Vladeff dressed as Buzz Lightyear, Sgt. 1st Class Lora Finn dressed as Emperor Zurg, and Maj. Douglas Frank dressed as Sherriff Woody.

Casey Ash, a yellow ribbon support staff member, dressed as Tour Guide Barbie and lead the children through the building for trick or treating.

After trick or treating and a group photo, Gilmore took the children on a hayride.

Children from the Ashland Learning Center, Show Me Childcare, and High Hill Academy attended this year's open house.

For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please visit www.moguard.com and our social media sites: www.facebook.com/Missouri.National.Guard; www.twitter.com/Missouri_NG; www.youtube.com/MoNationalGuard; www.myspace.com/missouri_ng; www.flickr.com/photos/missouriguard; www.moguard.com/blog

Casey Ash, a yellow ribbon support specialist, leads children from Show Me Childcare for trick or treating while dressed as Tour Guide Barbie for the Missouri National Guard Patriot Center's second annual Halloween open house.

Casey Ash, a yellow ribbon support specialist, leads children from Show Me Childcare for trick or treating while dressed as Tour Guide Barbie for the Missouri National Guard Patriot Center's second annual Halloween open house. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office.)

The Missouri National Guard's Patriot Center hosts their second annual Halloween open house. Local daycares attended the open house for trick or treating and a hayride.

The Missouri National Guard's Patriot Center hosts their second annual Halloween open house. Local daycares attended the open house for trick or treating and a hayride. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office.)



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