Annual 'Bright Eyes' Oct. 23

·3 min read

Oct. 14—The annual Bright Eyes Halloween event will be Oct. 23 at McKinley Park. The event is a fundraiser for Creston Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) for which businesses contribute time and money and a $5 admission fee per child to support the cause.

C.A.R.E. volunteer Mycale Downey said children and families will receive a variety of treats and have a chance to keep the memory forever.

"It's anywhere from 30 to 40 businesses that will hand out whatever they want," Downey said. "They can give candy, they can give toys, whatever they choose to deliver, so that's the primary thing that goes on, they go from business to business to collect their treats. This year, we're going to have a photo booth, so the parents or the caretaker can use their cell phones and take a picture of their child. We're going to have a halloween backdrop and they can sit on straw bales and take a picture to kind of document the event."

Downey said this is the 22nd annual Bright Eyes event, first started by Creston native Patti Rouh.

"She used to take her grandchildren to Des Moines and there is an event up there called Bright Eyes," Downey said.

The event, which localized the Des Moines version of Bright Eyes, has been in support of C.A.R.E. since the beginning.

"She helped us do the very first one and she made all the calls to the businesses, she had decorations purchased and she helped us get set up," Downey said. "So she started it for us as a fundraiser."

As the event gained popularity, it was then handed over to the C.A.R.E. volunteers.

"So after the first couple years, she kind of turned it over to us, so now C.A.R.E. volunteers make the phone calls and pick up donations and that sort of thing," Downey said.

Downey also said she collects donations from businesses and offers them an appearance at the park.

"We start calling businesses asking them if they would like to have a table at the event, and if they do, we explain what all that entails and then if they can't be there that night, we ask them if they would like to make a cash or candy donation. So we keep a list of who wants to have a table and who wants to have a donation and then we spend a good deal of time going around and picking up the donations from the various businesses."

C.A.R.E. is not only asking for donations from businesses, but also volunteers from the general public.

"If somebody wants to help decorate that day, we meet at the park around around noon so they can come out if they're interested," Downey said.

If someone would like to volunteer, they can leave a message for C.A.R.E. at 641-782-2330.

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