President Mark C. Anarumo creates contact-free candy delivery system to share Halloween goodies

President Mark C. Anarumo tried some new tricks to deliver a torrent of treats during his first Halloween on campus.

Trick-or-treaters from nearby Northfield neighborhoods were invited to visit the president’s house at Woodbury Hall on Central Street from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday for contactless candy delivery. The treats came through two specially constructed chutes that stood in the home’s driveway, steps from an array of inflatable Halloween decorations.

Last week, in a message on local town Facebook pages, Anarumo said he and his family had all tested COVID-negative, had quarantined per Vermont Department of Health rules and best practices, and would handle the candy personally.

President Mark C. Anarumo said he bought 16 pounds of candy to distribute. Trick-or-treaters needed only to hold their goodie bags near the chutes’ ends to receive treats.

Anarumo said he bought 16 pounds of candy to distribute. Trick-or-treaters needed only to hold their goodie bags near the chutes’ ends to receive treats. He welcomed visitors to pose for selfies and post them, tagging @NorwichUniversity.

“We will launch candy to trick-or-treaters like a giant blowgun,” he said of the chutes. “It’s going to be awesome.”

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The trick-or-treat scene outside Woodbury Hall on Halloween night. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

On Monday, Anarumo, who’d dressed as Captain America for the occasion, said the experience had, indeed, been awesome. Although he’d expected two dozen trick-or-treaters, more than 150 came. Instead of one plastic tubing chute, as he’d originally planned, Aanrumo had two — measuring 22 feet long and 4 inches in diameter — one for chewy, gooey treats, one for chocolates.

To keep everything coronavirus-safe, Anarumo exhausted two cans of Lysol spray and two bags of sanitizing wipes cleaning frequently handled items and directed trick-or-treaters to collect their treats quickly.

By the end of the two-hour window, all the candy had been gleefully received.

Anarumo called the experience gratifying. The trick or treaters were kind and gracious, and he was happy to share joy.

“It’s been a tough year,” Anarumo said, “and for kids to have to lose Halloween is just terrible.  So, I was really happy to be able to do this with the community.”

(Slideshow photos by Mark Collier.)



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