DORCHESTER, MA — Gold has been a color synonymous with the Boston Bruins throughout the team’s history. On Tuesday night, the B’s staff traveled to Dorchester's Salvation Army Kroc Center and used the color in a slightly different way.
Black & Gold clad Bruins staffers assisted the center in its preparations for its annual Halloween "Kroc-O-Treat" event and helped paint a giant yellow brick road as the centerpiece for this year's Wizard of Oz-themed party.
"Kroc-O-Treat is annual event that we have here at the Kroc Center," said Yhinny Matos, Marketing and Special Events Manager at the center. "It focuses on serving community children by giving them a safe alternative.
"Instead of trick-or-treating on the neighborhood streets, they can come into a fun, safe environment, and have lots of fun while getting candy, and doing all kinds of arts and crafts, and doing it within the community center."
While the road wasn’t quite (Black &) Gold, that didn't stop the Bruins staff from staying plenty enthusiastic, as Wizard of Oz music played in the background and the project was completed on time.
"This is great," said Bruins Foundation Executive Director Bob Sweeney, who was on hand to help out. "The Kroc Center here, what a beautiful, magnificent building they’ve put up.
"It’s great for the youth and families around the Dorchester community.
"It’s good that we have a bunch of employees helping out for the kids [on] Halloween, for trick-or-treating."
Other responsibilities for the staff included assembling small buckets for "Kroc-O-Treaters" to collect candy, as well as packing goodie bags for the party-goers.
"You always want to have a place where your youth can come, whether it’s doing some after-school programs, or homework, or in general just giving them an opportunity to stay on the straight and narrow basically," Sweeney said. "Having a facility like this keeps the kids in this community safe and gives them a good place to enjoy their after-school time."
According to Matos, helping children — a mission for the Bruins (and in particular the Boston Bruins Foundation) — is something the Kroc Center holds in its list of priorities.
"It’s indoors, it’s safe, and some of the activities that the kids do — we have a big bouncy house, tomorrow we’re having our first puppet show, we also have a Thriller dance party — we’re dedicating it to the Wiz," said Matos. "The idea came to fruition by way of Isaque Rezende, he’s our Community Outreach Coordinator."
"We hope to have this place jumping with a whole bunch of kids in costumes, and enjoying themselves having a safe Halloween party."
Matos also said that the volunteer help from the Bruins staff made the center’s plans for a fantasy-themed holiday event become a reality.
"We would not have made this possible if it wasn’t for the Bruins," she said. "We were almost going to nix the art project we were hoping to have, which we are now going to have—the yellow brick road.
"We were kind of disheartened when we first heard we couldn’t have it, but with the help of the Bruins, we’re going to make that happen."