McCormick YMCA celebrates Halloween at the Y!

Halloween Decorations. Photo by Demarco Trammell

Halloween Decorations. Photo by Demarco Trammell

alt text By Demarco Trammell, Criminal Justice and Reform Reporter, The Real Chi

The McCormick YMCA’s annual Halloween at the Y event brought Logan Square’s families together for holiday fun.

It wasn’t Oct. 31, but on Oct. 26 the McCormick YMCA, located on 1834 Lawndale Ave., decided to celebrate early by having their annual Halloween at the Y. The kids enjoyed playing fun carnival games, making arts and crafts, participating in sports activities, and taking part in a costume contest. There was also a haunted house that left kids screaming in fear. McCormick YMCA executive director Danny Rubio, who organized, said the purpose of hosting this gathering was to promote family engagement.

“We want community members and families to be able to engage in a safe environment. We invite community partners and other resources so that families can come and not only have a good time, but get to learn or have resources from the communities,” he said.

Rubio also said they’ve been hosting community events like the Halloween event since the McCormick YMCA was built in 2001.

Among the resources that were in attendance was Kids in the Kitchen of the Junior League of Chicago, a nationally recognized health education program that empowers youth to make healthy lifestyle choices. Also in attendance were physical therapy students from Northwestern University shared health tips to the families in attendance, and the UIC Pharmacy also provided health information.

Kids getting healthy snacks. Photo by Demarco Trammell

Kids getting healthy snacks. Photo by Demarco Trammell


Membership experience director Erin Payton shared watching the children in attendance smile makes her “float with happiness.” 

“What’s nice about it is we have kids that we don’t normally have come in, so they’re new to me,” she said.

To no one’s surprise, Payton also revealed what the kids were most looking forward to. 

“To be honest they’re probably most excited about the candy, even though they should be excited about the games, but they’re probably most excited about the candy,” she said.

Garth Borovicka, one of the many parents present, shared the reason his family attended the event was because his children attend daycare at their neighborhood YMCA and it’s a fun event for the family to be a part of.

Moreover, Borovicka said his children were very ecstatic about the games that were available, along with the haunted house, and were frightened of the scary clown that was lurking around the gym.

Terrifying clown. Photo by Demarco Trammell

Terrifying clown. Photo by Demarco Trammell


Another local resident Akiko Martin said she enjoyed the function because it provided an opportunity for her children to celebrate Halloween sooner. 

“I think it’s just a nice get together and it’s a good chance for the kids to get costumes on before the day of Halloween,” she said.

McCormick YMCA front desk specialist Stephen Rivas explained events like Halloween at the Y makes working at the Y worthwhile.  

“How we build community in this area, it brings a smile to my face,” said Rivas.