Members of the Brookdale chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) joined forces with a local church, area businesses and dozens of community members in Asbury Park on Oct. 29 to host a free “Trunk or Treat” event for local families.
The program, hosted at Boardwalk Vineyard Church, offered free candy, toys, face-painting, pumpkin decorating and Halloween-themed games and prize competitions to city children and their families. According to NSLS Community Service Chair and event organizer Gina Hooper, the “Trunk or Treat” was designed to provide local trick-or-treaters with a fun, safe alternative to traditional Halloween activities.
“Our mission for this event was to to create a safe environment for the children of Asbury Park to trick-or-treat while building long-lasting relationships with families and their children, who will be the future leaders of our communities,” said Hooper, a second-year pre-social work major from Freehold. “We were worried that the rain might prevent a good turnout, but quite the opposite happened.”
Close to 50 children and family members attended the event, showing off their costumes and filling their trick-or-treat bags with a variety of goodies.
“The environment was so fun-filled,” said Hooper. “Families came and did not want to leave. The children were so joy-filled, you couldn’t help but be joyful watching them.”
NSLS members were joined at the event by chapter advisor and Brookdale Career and Leadership Development Director Sarah McElroy, along with representatives from Boardwalk Vineyard Church. The “Trunk or Treat” was funded in part by an NSLS bake sale, hosted by students on the Lincroft campus on Oct. 12. Additional funds and donations were provided by Brookdale’s Office of Student Life and Activities, Walmart of Neptune, and local businesses and families.
“This event not only highlights the impact of community service, but also showcases the leadership skills that students are learning through the NSLS,” said McElroy. “It was an incredible event, and we could not be prouder of our students for putting it together.”
The NSLS, a nationwide organization boasting 730,000 members at 550 colleges across the U.S., was established at Brookdale in May 2016 with an inaugural cohort of close to 100 students. As of this semester, Brookdale’s NSLS chapter has grown to a total membership of more than 1,000.
Successful NSLS members earn lifetime membership in the national organization, as well as an official NSLS designation at commencement and a host of exclusive benefits. Students also have opportunities to lead community service initiatives, apply for exclusive scholarships and career opportunities, become program mentors, serve as executive board members and network with industry leaders.
To learn more about NSLS or to become a member, click here.
Check out more photos of the Trunk or Treak event here.
[Photos courtesy of Sarah McElroy]