The Grand Hotel again welcomed more than 300 little witches and goblins, superheroes and princesses, Disney characters and action figures – all for the annual Halloween at the Y event for special needs children.

     For nearly 20 years, the Y has brought together local businesses, civic clubs, nonprofits and volunteer groups who dress up in costume and decorate the entire first floor of the hotel. They then welcome special needs children from schools throughout the district for a morning of trick or treating, face painting, dancing and fun.

     Employees of Fisher Brown Bottrell participated in the event for the second year, decorating their area with a circus motif. “It is a lot of fun for the staff, especially knowing how much the kids would enjoy the circus theme,” said Holly Craver, Vice President. “We are all very blessed and this is a time for us to give back to the community.”

     The team from United Way of Escambia County expressed an equal amount of enthusiasm about their participation. “Halloween at the Y is a fun way to give back to the community while showing team spirit with co-workers,” said Naomi Kjer, Marketing Manager. “Seeing the excitement and joy on the faces of children, who otherwise may not have the opportunity to trick-or-treat, is the reason we keep coming back.”

     The staff of the Grand Hotel plays a huge role in the event, setting up and helping run logistics to keep everyone safe and having fun. Domino’s Pizza and Buffalo Rock provide pizza and drinks for the kids, while local costumed characters dropped in for high-fives and photos.

          After trick or treating, the kids enjoyed all their favorite hits, courtesy of A DJ Connection. “Everyone is so accommodating for all the kids. This event is so well organized that it is a blast for everyone!” said DJ Andrea Sapp. “From the volunteers to the Pensacola Grand Hotel, we all look forward to this event every year. The kids have so much fun and you can see it in their faces. This is a once in a lifetime event and it's every year!”