FEATURE | Posted Oct. 23, 2013

UC Davis Children's Hospital patients get into the Halloween spirit

Plenty of treats for kids, thanks to a party hosted by Spirit Halloween Superstores

UC Davis Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department

UC Davis Child LIfe and Creative Arts Therapy Department is the only hospital in the Sacramento area that has a:

  • full-time child life specialist in its emergency department
  • full-time art therapist
  • full-time teacher from the Sacramento City Unified School District
  • staff music therapist

Learn more about the UC Davis Child Life and Creative Arts Department.

Spirit Halloween Superstores brought Halloween to UC Davis Children's Hospital patients and their siblings this month, hosting a party that included free costumes, dancers, arts and crafts and even a special visit from the Power Rangers.

Watch a video about this year's Spirit Halloween party for our UC Davis Children's
Hospital patients.

"This is awesome," said 8-year-old Perry Trutane, while making monster faces out of playdough. Minutes later, Operation MJ, a dance team devoted to Michael Jackson music, performed to "Thriller" in the playroom.

"Perry was very excited to be here today," said his mother Kim Trutane. "These are good activities for the kids, and it's good to be here."

The playroom was festooned with orange and black garland, pumpkins and an inflatable Spider-Man and witch. Purple tableclothed tables were set up with different Halloween arts and crafts for kids. Spirit Halloween managers, stationed at each table, helped children with their projects.

Perry Trutane, 8, tries on a pair of purple fangs. © UC Regents
Perry Trutane, 8, tries on a pair of purple fangs. See more photos on the UC Davis Children's Hospital Facebook page.

Outside the playroom, patients and their siblings lined up to receive a jack o'lantern bucket, brimming with games, toys and colorful crowns. New Halloween costumes in different sizes were also available for children.

Meghan Stewart brought her 4-year-old daughter Elizabeth to the party, and they moved from station to station, working on different Halloween crafts, from pumpkin decorating to watercolor painting.

"This is so nice," said Meghan Stewart. "When I heard about the event, I was so excited. I told Elizabeth, 'Get ready! We're going to a party!'"

They left with a brand new Ariel mermaid costume and a jack o' lantern bucket full of goodies.

Spirit Halloween Superstores raises money online and in its stores to support the UC Davis Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department, which provides a positive environment for children, while they receive medical care. The donations underwrite a range of activities, from music and art therapy to games and toys. In 2012, the stores donated more than $50,000 to UC Davis Children's Hospital's Child Life Department. Ten percent of sales at these store locations will be donated to the UC Davis Child Life Department this year.

"We adopted the UC Davis pediatric department about four years ago," said Natalie Reese, district manager of the Sacramento area Spirit Halloween Superstores. "The hope is to have the children step away from their bed and be kids today. We're hoping to bring some smiles to the walls of the hospital."