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Boo Fest a Smash Hit

Published on 30 October 2015

Swing and a miss. Then a laugh. The next swing connects with Count Dracula’s head. It bursts open. There are more screams and laughter as small hands grab for the prizes inside. This year’s Boo Fest on the campus of St. Louis College of Pharmacy featured a new activity—piñatas. They were made by Sharon Thigpen, who works in the College’s Parkview Café.

Thigpen, who has been at the College on and off for the past decade, says the inspiration struck at her recycling bin.

“I saw it had so much paper, and I thought there has got to be a way to do something,” she says. “Then I got the idea to make Piñatas. I blew up a balloon and put paper around it to see if I could make it.”

Boo Fest at St. Louis College of PharmacyEighteen months later, she’s made everything from a slot machine with a working coin slot to Princess Anna from Frozen. For Boo Fest, she fashioned a witch and Dracula for the older kids and a baby rattle and a bottle for the younger ones.

Each year, the College and JDRF invite children with Type 1 diabetes to campus for the Boo Fest Halloween celebration. Students at the College work for weeks to make game booths and practice their face painting skills. All the work is a fraction of the countless hours students, faculty, staff, and alumni volunteer each year to improve the community.

“Being a kid with Type 1 diabetes can be difficult during this time of year because of all the candy,” says Rebecca Jones, director of academic support and Boo Fest organizer. “We focus on having a great time and giving out fun toys as prizes. Every person here, from children and their parents to the students, leaves with a big smile.”

“I’m glad the kids enjoyed the piñatas,” Thigpen says. “I like to make them because it’s fun.”

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