Orange you excited for Halloween? Huntley is!

Spooky Buddies event, run by Buddies Club and NHS, prepares the community for Halloween


Families from around the community visit the different themed rooms to play games and get candy. (M. Armstrong)

By Maggie Armstrong

It is 3:30 p.m. The high schoolers were released an hour ago. The elementary buses are headed out of Leggee Elementary School to drop off the students. The high school should be empty besides select clubs and sports.

But it is not. 

Instead, HHS students from various clubs and activities are back at the high school, setting up for Huntley High School’s biggest Halloween event: Spooky Buddies. Sponsored by Best Buddies Club and NHS, Spooky Buddies is a trick-or-treat event that allows community members to visit the high school, play games, and get candy. 

“It’s one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, and it’s open to the community,” said senior Melanie Gyorke, president of Best Buddies Club. “This year we moved it inside because of the rain, but it’s a trick-or-treat event that earns the club some awareness and funds.”

Last year, due to the pandemic, Spooky Buddies was a trunk-or-treat outside in the high school’s parking lot. That was initially the plan for this year as well, but due to weather conditions, the event was moved inside. 

“I think it went surprisingly well for how fast we needed to switch the venue from being outside to inside,” said Cindy Fitzgerald, co-sponsor of Buddies Club. “The E-Board team and the clubs got together and were able to come up with decorations and make the rooms beautiful.”

Different HHS clubs and activities were assigned their own rooms within the upstairs and downstairs circles of the high school to decorate. Most clubs chose a theme, and the members dressed up and ran any games they had or handed out candy to the kids. 

Like Buddies Club, NHS decorated a few classrooms and helped collect donations at the entrances. 

“I’m most excited to decorate all of the rooms and just see all of the kids. It’s always a good time,” senior and NHS E-Board member Yehan Subasinghe said. 

When the doors opened at 5 p.m, the clubs were immediately met with eager trick-or-treaters and their excited families. Families made their way through the downstairs and upstairs circle, stopping at the rooms for fun activities. 

Many volunteers helped out to make the event possible, coming in early and staying late to help the event run smoothly. 

“I decided to volunteer because I’m a part of Buddies Club,” freshman McKenna Wiley said. “I joined Buddies to help out with the special education students and give them more opportunities.” 

The volunteers completed a wide range of tasks, from making snowflakes in the Winter Wonderland to conducting carnival-like games in rooms such as the Care Bears room. Volunteers at the Spanish Honors Society room also did face painting for the trick-or-treaters. 

By 7:30 p.m., the families started heading home, taking their candy, crafts, and prizes with them. 

“There was such a huge turnout. I think it was fabulous,” Fitzgerald said. “Everyone did a fantastic job.”

This year’s Spooky Buddies brought back more community involvement after the pandemic forced clubs to limit their activities. Despite the last-minute switch to inside, the event was a boo-tiful success and definitely pumpkin to talk about.