By Christine L. Mobley
Trick-or-Treasure: Food allergy safe event frightfully good time for all
It was a scary good time for everybody who came out to this past Saturday’s Trick-or-Treasure sponsored by the Clawson Downtown Development Authority (DDA).
This is the second year the event was a food allergy safe event – one of only a handful around the country. Children and their parents were invited to dress up in costume and trick-or-treat at local businesses near Clawson’s central downtown area at 14 Mile and Main St.
According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), around 3 million children suffer from severe food allergies. This can make a holiday centered around treats a scary thing for parents of food allergic children.
Local attorney Tim Burns, whose 4-year-old daughter has a severe peanut allergy, chaired the event.
“I’ve been involved with the revitalization of the downtown district of Clawson for quite awhile now...working with the Clawson DDA trying to think of ways to promote interest in the restaurants, retail and other businesses located in the DDA district and trying to think of ways that would bring new people downtown and expose them to the nice little city we have,” Burns said of his involvement.
“Food allergies unexpectedly struck our family and from that unfortunate situation I thought that maybe we could make something positive out of it and help both the downtown Clawson area promote itself to new people who might not have experienced it before and to help out families that might be looking for an opportunity to let their kids enjoy Halloween.”
The Clawson DDA’s event committee purchased all of the candy that was distributed at the event and screened it to avoid ingredients and manufacturing contamination issues that could trigger allergic reactions.
The committee worked with pediatric allergy specialist Dr. Devang Doshi from Beaumont Health System and FAAN to help ensure that the event was safe for all participants.
Burns also noted that all of the treats were personally taste-tested to guarantee the enjoyment of everyone.
Some of the items that were passed out to trick-or-treaters were Skittles, Starburst, Smarties, Charms Blow Pops, Tootsie Rolls and Pops, Dum Dum suckers, etc. Trick-or-treaters were also given a Halloween-themed comic book from Warp 9 Comics and a special trick and treasure from Wunderground Magic Store.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the different parents around metro-Detroit who have children suffering from food allergies and think that this is a great way that their kids can go out and have some fun and not be excluded because of their allergies,” Burns said.
“We thought it would be a great way to bring everyone together – not showing anyone special treatment, but showing that everyone could have fun at a great event while it’s still safe for the kids with food allergies.”