Trick-or-Treat Trailer-to-Trailer event in 28th year

This Halloween brings around the 28th annual Trick-or-Treat Trailer-to-Trailer event at RV Sales of New Mexico in Moriarty. 

The event brings the community together as volunteers, sponsors and consumers, and all proceeds are donated to Bethel Community Storehouse, said office manager Melody C de Baca.

Admittance is $1, or one non-perishable food item per person. For this amount, trick-or-treaters get the fun of strolling safely between 40 well-lit trailers, with costumed volunteers at each door to hand out candy.

For just one more dollar, guests can enter the spooky haunted house, provided by Bennett’s Amusement of Moriarty. This portion of the proceeds goes to the Moriarty Rotary Club’s scholarship fund. Last year they raised over $500 for scholarships.

Dozens of businesses and individuals pitch in financially to sponsor the 2-hour event, which last year raised almost $1,400 in cash and a pallet of food for Bethel, a welcomed donation at the start of the holiday season. “We go through four thousand dollars’ worth of candy,” during the event, said RV Sales marketing director Jeanette Ridenour. More than 1,600 people attended last year’s event.

Moriarty Pipe and Iron, Hart’s Hardware, Western Trails Veterinary Clinic, York Septic, McLeod Medical Center in Moriarty, Shorty’s BBQ, Edgewood Lions Club, Moriarty Lions Club, Tillery Chevrolet, Katrinah’s East Mountain Grill, Mail and Copy Business Center, Central New Mexico Electric Co-op, Walmart, The Independent and Country Gas in Edgewood have all contributed as sponsors in the past.

RV Sales of New Mexico, owned by Valerie Chowning, puts its regular business on hold for several days around the event, blocking out services and spending about two weeks decorating, arranging trailers, hanging strings of lights overhead, organizing volunteers and posting flyers.

Chowning’s parents, Kathy and Ralph, who started the fundraiser when they owned the business, spend days arranging the RVs into a semi-circular tunnel of fun.

“I don’t know how they do it,” Ridenour said, laughing. “They’ve been parking trailers for so long, they make it look easy.” The event calls for about 100 volunteers, who are encouraged to dress in costume, according to Ridenour.

“The costumes are the great thing,” Ridenour said. Last year’s show-stoppers were Sue and Brian Shanley, who came in full Dia de los Muertos makeup. “The kids really loved them. That makeup took hours.”

“[Halloween Trick-or-Treat Trailer-to-Trailer] impacts us, very much so,” said Robert Parraz, assistant director at Bethel. “We pick up a significant amount of cash and food from them. It’s especially helpful right before the holidays.” He added, “It’s a good event because it’s safe for the kids.”

The food boxes that Bethel Storehouse hands out to needy individuals and families have long been a boon to the Estancia Valley and East Mountain area. After providing proof of address, each family is given a large donation of groceries, up to once a month.

There is produce from local farms, alongside baked goods from the grocery stores, frozen meats, milk, eggs, and cans and boxes of non-perishable items. Diabetic, gluten-free, vegetarian and low-sodium options are available upon request.

Bethel also helps low-income residents with clothing, bedding, and housewares, free of charge, with proof of income or a referral from Human Services or one of the local churches, Parraz said.

The Trick-or-Treat Trailer-to-Trailer event depends heavily on volunteers. If you are interested in helping, contact 505-832-2400 or email Jeanette@rvsalesnm.com.

Donations to offset the costs of candy, lights, advertising, and food are also being solicited. Donors will be recognized by posted signs at the event and in the local newspaper following the event.

To donate, checks made out to RV Sales can be mailed to P.O. Box 2098, Moriarty, NM, 87035. Cash or checks can also be dropped off in person at 2109 Old Route 66, half a mile west of Moriarty.

To learn more about Bethel Storehouse or to support that effort directly, call 505-832-6642 or visit bethelstorehouse.org.