In 2014, Larry realized that for the first time ever, he was not going to see his kids on Halloween. Up until this point, Halloween was an occasion shared with papa, grandma, auntie Ber, and fur-critters alike. He couldn’t bare to see divorce take this time away.
Just a few weeks before the election of which he was a candidate, he reached out to his campaign manager (Joanna St. Jacques), with the idea for a kids event – as if they didn’t have enough on their plates in the final stretch of the election.
Thanks to an understanding manager and a brilliant neighbour in the late Kate Andrus, on Friday October 24th, 2014, Pumpkin Prowl was born. Kate came up with the name, the text for the original flyers, and the idea of a reverse flyer with a pumpkin on one side for participating homes to display on the event day, and she even printed off many of our flyers despite a printer that fought her every inch of the way. Larry is forever grateful that Kate’s touch lives on through Pumpkin Prowl and so many other things.
20 children joined us for that first event and each year, participation has doubled from the year before.
In 2015, Larry’s now wife Tara jumped in with both feet to help plan and promote this little event, including finding small business sponsors to help them with treats, prizes, and other supplies, turning Pumpkin Prowl from a little gathering to something that was becoming so much more than a Halloween event.
Each year, the testimonials and conversations highlight the need, value, and effect of our project. What started out as a discussion about parenting schedules, extended to grandparents not able to see their kids on the official Halloween, work schedules, and of course avoiding conflict and ensuring both parents (or grandparents) have a day they can Trick-or-treat through the neighborhood with their children and grandchildren.
If not for Pumpkin Prowl, Larry’s parenting schedule would not have fallen on his time sharing days for the next few years. Now, he doesn’t even worry about the schedule this time of year. He and his girls have their event and it’s a special time for Larry, Tara, their extended families, and a neighbourhood who has so graciously opened their doors twice a year to allow for this tradition to continue and grow.
2019 proves to be the another great year thanks to Tara who didn’t hesitate a moment to offer to be Larry’s partner in Halloween crime 4 years ago. Her belief and passion for Pumpkin Prowl has meant the world to him and our children.
Thank you to our many sponsors over the years, the support of our neighbours, and for everyone who has spread the word to make Pumpkin Prowl what it has become.
In 2018, Larry & Tara asked Kate Andrus’ family if they would mind if the event be renamed in her honor and they graciously accepted. We are proud to now call this the Kate Andrus Pumpkin Prowl.
Your Kate Andrus Pumpkin Prowl Team
(Tara & Larry)