East Hanover Schools Celebrate Halloween with Parades and Fundraisers

Fright Factor Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
Some kids taking a photo with a cast member outside the maze. Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
Karen Casolaro, founder and president of Halos for Angels, Inc. in the blue dress, is telling a group of children the rules of the maze. Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
From left to right: Ms. Kerry Quinn, Mrs. Natalee Bartlett, and Ms. Melissa Falcone having some fun in the maze. Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
The first parade at Franklin J. Smith, featuring some preschoolers and Kindergartners. Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
Mrs. Natalee Bartlett joins in the fun at FJS. Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
Kong having some fun during the second parade at FJS featuring some more preschoolers, as well as the first and second graders. Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
Pennywise from "It" makes an appearance at FJS. Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
A couple of kids from Central Elementary dressed as the Minions from "Despicable Me". Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
A line of students from Central showing off their costumes. Credits: Lisa Hodorovych
Superhereos, witches, and headless horseman...oh my! Credits: Lisa Hodorovych

EAST HANOVER, N.J. - On Tuesday, October 31, kids and adults dressed up to celebrate Halloween. Both Frank J. Smith and Central Elementary School had  costume parades.. Some were dressed up as princesses, witches, and cops. Some dressed up as their favorite superheroes: Batman, Superman, Captain America, among others. There were some kids dressed up as Michael Myers from “Halloween”, the headless horseman from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, and Pennywise from “It”.

But there was one type of costume popular among the kids; inflatable costumes. There were kids who dressed up as King Kong, the Minions from “Despicable Me”, and a dinosaur in the inflatable costumes.

While the East Hanover Schools celebrated Halloween in the traditional sense, they also supported Halos for Angels, Inc. Since 2012, Halos for Angels has been doing a Halloween attraction called Fright Factor: Florham Park’s Ultimate Pathway to Terror to help raise money for their efforts.

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Karen Casolaro, founder and president of Halos for Angels, stated, “When Halos for Angels, Inc. was faced with funding  needed to help community families in need due to sudden tragedy, John (Karen’s husband) thought to design a fundraiser just for Halos that involved all community families and local businesses to come together for the greater good while helping to strengthen the growth of our community at large.”

Casolaro’s husband, who is a mechanical engineer with a master’s in architecture, designed the structure that sits in the field between the Florham Park Roller Rink and Chase Bank on Ridgedale Avenue in Florham Park. At first, it was 900 square feet, but as the years passed it would grow to be the 3,000 square feet it is now. “Knowing we needed to bring in more funds to help with our charity’s sustainability, while supporting the needs of our angel recipients, John knew that Fright Factor needed to be bigger than its inception.”

It was on Saturday, October 21, that Ms. Quinn (of Franklin J. Smith), Ms. Falcone (of Central Elementary), and Ms. Costello (of East Hanover Middle School) donned a costume with masks and hid in the maze for students to try and find them. It would be groups of children running in (with a cast member) to try and find their respective principals as quickly as they could.

Some children were too scared to enter the maze, but with some encouragement from Karen, her team, and their parents they went in. Some came out crying. Some came out saying, “That was freaky,” while others came out saying, “Can we do it again?”.

After going through the maze, the kids were treated to bags filled with candy and other goodies, pumpkin picking, and face-painting.

According to Casolaro, all three schools collectively raised over two thousand dollars. Halos helps out families in need all year long for more about Halos click here.

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