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Witches, wizards and superheroes got a head start on trick-or-treating in the crisp autumn air Monday evening at the Hyrum Harvest Carnival.

Free activities including trunk-or-treating, hot dogs, bingo and a doughnut relay drew hundreds of people of all ages to the The Family Place’s Hyrum location, named for Norma Miller.

Nicholas and Kylee Redmon brought their children, who were dressed as “Star Wars” characters. They saw a flier for the event at a grocery store. Why did they decide to come?

“I have kids who want candy,” Nicholas said.

“Amen to that,” added another dad in line for trunk-or-treating. “That’s the only reason.”

Hyrum resident Holli Crockett brought her 3-year-old son, Cooper, to meet friends at the event. For the Crocketts, at least, the event wasn’t all about sugar.

“It gives us a chance to get out of the house, because I work from home, and it gives him a chance to mingle with other kids, because he’s really shy,” Crockett said. “I just think that it’s really good, the service that they provide for the community, and I wish that more people knew of their events so they could support them and help them out so they could do more things.”

Spreading awareness was one of The Family Place’s main goals with the Hyrum Harvest Carnival, according to Event Coordinator Wendi Coombs.

“We served over 11,000 people in our community last year,” Coombs said. “And that sounds like a lot, but still more and more people are realizing that there is something for everyone at The Family Place.”

Those services include free monthly community events like the Harvest Festival but also a slew of regular classes and services, Coombs said: therapy and counseling, parenting classes, stepfamily classes, scheduled weekly care at their Kid’s Place, a 24-hour hotline and more.

“Like they always say, children don’t come with an owner’s manual,” Coombs said. “And so we just try to provide parents with the tips and tricks and support that they need to do the best job that they can in this crazy world.”

The Belva Hansen center in Logan is The Family Place’s main location, but the Norma Miller center in Hyrum and the as-yet-unnamed Smithfield center help the nonprofit serve more Cache and Rich county residents, Coombs said. The Norma Miller location’s offerings will be expanding soon because the nonprofit has received a grant to add a multicultural center there.

For more information about the Family Place’s services, visit TheFamilyPlaceUtah.org or FB.com/FamilyPlaceUtah. The nonprofit’s 24-hour hotline is (435)752-8880.

staff writer

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