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Volunteers needed for wheelchair Halloween costume build

wheelchair costume.jpg
Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 18:13:40-04

BEL AIR, Md (WMAR) — The nation's top infectious disease expert says kids can safely celebrate Halloween this year, because most activities, like trick-or-treating, are outside.

For kids in wheelchairs, there are still other obstacles. A Harford County event will give make this Halloween extra special for them, but they are still in need of volunteers to help.

“It takes a lot of different skill sets to make these costumes come together. I think this year we’ve got Scooby Doo's van, a dragon, an underwater space ship,” said County Executive Barry Glassman.

It’s called the Wheelchair Costume Workshop, sponsored by the Harford County government in partnership with Mt. Zion Church and the Harford Center. Volunteers are paired up with kids to make them their dream costume.

“It is pretty neat how they can transform a wheelchair into a moving costume. They really are fabulous,” said Glassman.

Then they show off the costumes in an inclusive trunk-or-treating event the day before Halloween.

“It’s great because there are so many things that children with mobility issues can’t do. Even trick-or-treating is hard. They can’t go up and down the steps,” said Betsy Dean.

Dean’s 16-year-old son Ashton, who has to use a wheelchair to get around outside his home, participated the first year, in 2019, as Batman. It couldn’t happen last year because of COVID-19. This year, he plans to be Scooby Doo with the Mystery Machine.

“He’s so excited for his costume this year, and even for parents of special needs kids, it’s so hard to have extra time to do a lot of things because they do take so much time, so I don’t think I could even take on something like this ourselves,” said Dean.

It’s just a few weeks away and they are still looking for 25-50 more volunteers to help build the costumes at Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air October 29 and 30.

Dean hopes more people will volunteer to help turn Ashtons’, and other childrens’ dreams, into reality.

“It just means so so much to families like ours and children like ours,” said Dean.

Glassman said there is also still some time to register your child to be one of the costume recipients. Those families, as well as businesses and other organizations that would like be a part of a design team, volunteer, contribute materials, or host a trunk-or-treating station should reach out to