Spring cleaning? Ella-Ween organizer welcomes donations

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Christine Lakens has a request for people doing spring cleaning.

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“If you’re getting rid of any Halloween-related stuff, just donate it to Ella-ween,” she said.

The woman behind Sarnia Scare Grams is planning the inaugural Halloween event and Sarnia’s Organ Donor Awareness (SODA) campaign on Oct. 21.

She collects unused costumes, decorations and makeup to make available at Rosedale School for people to pick up in exchange for donations to the organ donation charity.

“I kind of want to get the word out now, because a lot of people do spring cleaning,” she said.

Lukens said she already has hundreds of donations for the event, which is named in honor of her daughter, organ donor Ella Crosette, who died last July at the age of two after falling into her family’s pond.

She said the goal is to make it easier to celebrate Halloween for families who might otherwise struggle to purchase Halloween costumes or decor amid rising costs.

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“I kind of wanted to give everyone a break and hopefully relieve some of the financial stress,” Lakens said, noting that costumes could be donated after Halloween.

She said Ella loved Halloween and her birthday was October 21st.

The date was already known as Ella-ween in her family, she said, noting that she chose Rosedale as the location because it’s where her two other children are.

Among the attractions planned for the event are the Cat Cabajar of the Painted Cat, a raffle, prizes, and candy bags, which will also commemorate Ella and her life-saving organ donations, many of which went to a local boy and family friend.

“I’d much rather have her here,” she said, “but I’m just glad to know I’ll be able to spread awareness ‘about organ donation’ and her name, people will know who she is.”

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Donations can be made during business hours at Sarnia’s Rosedale or Queen Elizabeth II Primary Schools, Hub Insurance Co. At 265 Exmouth St. Motion at 49 Finch Dr. , Unit 7, and at SODA’s office, 104-180 N. Street.

People interested in the care can contact Luckins via Sarnia Scare Grams on Facebook, she said, thanking the community for all its support thus far, including donations toward Ella’s headstone.

“I really want to thank everyone who has donated or helped in some way make (Ella-ween) come true,” she said.

She will run from noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 21, Ella Wynn said. There will also be a time slot from 11 a.m. to noon for families of children with special needs.

Depending on the crowd, attendance when everyone is there can be overwhelming for people with disabilities, Lukens said, noting that one of her two sons has autism..

“I just wanted to make it available to everyone in the community.”


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