Freeholder Director Gibbs, Sheriff Stanfield to hold holiday event for children with special needs

Children with special needs in Burlington County will have a new opportunity to safely participate in a family-fun Halloween activity, coinciding with a partnership between Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs, County Sheriff Jean Stanfield and a grouping of first responders from local communities.

The two elected officials recently announced that they will serve as the hosts to the county’s first “Trunk or Treat” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 27 in the parking lot at the Burlington County Administration Building in Mount Holly.

The event is a new spin on trick-or-treating, where children can receive treats from parked car-to-parked car instead of the traditional home-to-home Halloween activity, so parents can supervise their children as they collect treats in a safe environment.

“I am thrilled to host our second event this year for children with special needs,” said  Gibbs. “During our egg hunt in March, I heard over and over how parents have been searching for an event just like it for their kids and sincerely appreciated the county’s efforts. I knew then that we had to do more. I can’t wait for our ‘Trunk or Treat’ and hope to see many of the same parents and children back again.”

The Freeholder’s Office, Sheriff’s Department and local first responders will all be participating with decorated vehicles at the upcoming event. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite costume and bring a trick-or-treat bag.

“After the amazing response to our inaugural Easter egg hunt earlier this year, we knew we had to build off of that success and organize another event specifically for children with special needs,” said Sheriff Stanfield, who added that the event will provide a great opportunity for children of all ages to interact with first responders. “Our ‘Trunk or Treat’ allows kids to have safe Halloween fun; their parents don’t have to worry about traffic or crossing the street, all while we come together as a community during a fun social event.”

The event stems from another successful holiday occasion arranged in March by Gibbs and Stanfield, who organized an Easter egg hunt for children with special needs at the Burlington County Administration Building. Children participated in small groups and were aided by sound, flashing light and magnetic devices. Participants had the opportunity to enhance socialization with their peers, and increase independence and decision-making skills.

Parents and their children who are interested in attending the “Trunk or Treat” should pre-register before Oct. 24 by calling 609-265-3788 or emailing

The event is open to children of all ages with special needs. Peanut-free food and other light refreshments will be provided. The Burlington County Administration Building is located at 49 Rancocas Road, Mount Holly. The rain date is Oct. 28.

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