The Scarlet Scroll

Water polo hosts the Down Syndrome Association’s ninth Boo Bash

JUMP+IN+LINE%3A+Senior+Hannah+Constandse+leads+a+conga+line+of+volunteers+and+guests+around+the+dance+floor.+Boo+Bash+was+held+on+Oct.+6+in+the+LeVecke+center+from+6+to+10+p.m.+for+teens+and+young+adults+in+the+down+syndrome+community.+
JUMP IN LINE: Senior Hannah Constandse leads a conga line of volunteers and guests around the dance floor. Boo Bash was held on Oct. 6 in the LeVecke center from 6 to 10 p.m. for teens and young adults in the down syndrome community.

JUMP IN LINE: Senior Hannah Constandse leads a conga line of volunteers and guests around the dance floor. Boo Bash was held on Oct. 6 in the LeVecke center from 6 to 10 p.m. for teens and young adults in the down syndrome community.

Alex Audette

Alex Audette

JUMP IN LINE: Senior Hannah Constandse leads a conga line of volunteers and guests around the dance floor. Boo Bash was held on Oct. 6 in the LeVecke center from 6 to 10 p.m. for teens and young adults in the down syndrome community.

Alex Audette, Opinion Editor

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JUMP IN LINE: Senior Hannah Constandse leads a conga line of volunteers and guests around the dance floor. Boo Bash was held on Oct. 6 in the LeVecke center from 6 to 10 p.m. for teens and young adults in the down syndrome community.

At the entrance, a sign reads  “Beware enter at your own risk”  as costumed guests enter the LeVecke Center, which has been transformed into a spooky soiree. Halloween-colored balloons hover above the floor and festive streamers fly around the room as students, visitors and volunteers dance with one another to DJ Willpower’s sick beats. With food, fun and games, Boo Bash was a “graveyard smash”!

For the ninth year in a row, the water polo program partnered with the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County (DSAOC) to host Boo Bash, a Halloween dance for teens and young adults with Down Syndrome.  The dance was held in the LeVecke center on Oct. 6 from 6 to 10 p.m.

According to DSAOC Executive Director Kellie Perez, the purpose of this event is to to help individuals with Down Syndrome with social skills and behavior.

Boo Bash is hosted by the water polo athletes in charge of providing the food, the setup, and the theme planning. In addition, Campus Ministry provided the decorations and the space, while DSAOC brought the guests and DJ Willpower, a national rapper with Down Syndrome. 

According to Perez, Boo Bash grows each year. This year, more than 100 guests attended the event, each dressed in their favorite Halloween costume. She said this event is very beneficial for young adults and teens in the down syndrome community because it “helps them claim confidence, learn the appropriate social skills, [and] help with their mental wellness,” Perez said.

Boo Bash was led by senior water polo players Maisie McPherson, Hannah Constandse, Warren Loth, Cameron Reagan and Ian Minsterman. Each of these students have been members of the varsity water polo team since their freshmen year, making this their fourth consecutive year participating in Boo Bash.

“We love dressing up and working and planning this event, not only because it gives us service hours but it teaches us tolerance and it teaches us that community service can be so much more than donating an item,” McPherson said.

In preparation of the annual event, these students met during multiple office hours and lunches since early August to plan the dance. They would meet consistently to discuss details such as the theme of the event, which was spooky skeletons and pumpkin patches, and the amount of food needed such as a decorative desserts, popcorn, and tangerines crafted into mini pumpkins The leaders also took the time to put together favors and things such as Frankenstein cups, and monster hands for the guests to decorate.

In its first few years, Boo Bash was organized by the basketball team, but when a scheduling conflict arose in 2013, the water polo team took on the responsibility to ensure that this Halloween tradition continued, Head of Campus Ministry Stephanie Hopkins said. After hosting Boo Bash for the first time, the water polo team fell in love with the outreach, Hopkins said, and they’ve been hosting the event ever since.

“The guests are looking forward to this event all year long,” Constandse said. “The water polo team has a great time hosting this event, and we love having the opportunity to some of the same faces year after year.”

Perez has been with the association for 13 years and was ecstatic when the opportunity arose to work with Mater Dei students nine years ago.

“When I first started working there, we had volunteers that would come into the center and they were Mater Dei students,” Perez said. “We merely had to say that we would love to have this dance and would Mater Dei be interested in helping us with it… Mater Dei jumped all over it.”

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Water polo hosts the Down Syndrome Association’s ninth Boo Bash