October 28, 2013


Children flock to 1890 House

Museum plays host to college education club’s Halloween party

1890Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Sophie Mayer, 6, of Cortland, wears a homemade Peter Pan costume to the SUNY Cortland Education Club’s Halloween party Saturday at the 1890 House Museum.

Staff Reporter

More than 150 children decked out in Halloween costumes came to the The 1890 House Museum Saturday, listening to scary stories, touring a “haunted house” and eating candy.
The party was the twenty-second thrown by SUNY Cortland’s Education Club, but the first time it was held at the Tompkins Street museum, said Kim Hesler, a co-president of the club and a senior at the college.
“People were really excited to have it here,” said Jennifer Barry, a vice-president of the club and another senior. Barry, 21, noted that the party had been several other places on campus and had not been as successful.
The club puts on the party as a way of giving back to the community the students go to school in and to provide local children with a safe place to celebrate Halloween, said Hesler, 21.
Jenna Diescher, 9, of Cortland looked like a statue come to life during the party as she painted a picture while wearing a Grecian goddess costume near a water fountain in the mansion’s conservatory.
Diescher explained that the activity was designed to have children use fall materials, such as leaves and gourds, as a paintbrush.
Dressed as a green and pink fairy, and sporting pink cowgirl boots, Diescher’s younger sister, Madison Diescher, 5, soon tried her hand with the paints.
Their mom, Karen Diescher, said she came to support the SUNY students and because she thought it would be fun. Diescher said she works at the campus’ Child Care Center where a lot of the students volunteer.
“And it’s indoors,” said Bud Diescher, her husband. “I was just saying on the way in that Halloween should be moved to May or June, I think.”
Getting out of the crisp fall air was also a plus for Chris DiFulvo, who brought his daughter Kara Lynn, 3, and son Joey, 2, to the party.
DiFulvo thought the party’s small events broken up into different rooms were perfect for little ones’ short attention span.
Kara Lynn DiFulvo, who was wearing a winged green dragon costume, said that she and her brother, who was wearing a dog costume with long floppy ears that she loved to pull, had already gotten some candy.
“And we guessed the candy corn,” she added, referring to a container of candy that was set up for people to guess the number of pieces.
Other activities spread throughout the mansion included spooky storytelling and face painting. A haunted house was set up on the fourth floor.
The event took a couple of months for the club to plan and prepare for, Hesler said.
The students prepared all the games and decorations, and purchased all the supplies, said Charlotte Pass, the club’s advisor and a professor of literacy at the college.
“They did it all,” Pass said. “It’s such an amazing group.”


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