Powhatan County Harvest Fest ‘Trunk-O-Treats’ benefits VCU sickle cell program

The ninth annual Powhatan County Harvest Fest “Trunk-O-Treats” will be held on Friday, October 31, from 5 p.m. to midnight at the Powhatan County Fairgrounds, 4042 Anderson Highway.

This event provides a safe, fun place for trick-or-treating while giving back to the community. This year, proceeds will benefit the Virginia Commonwealth University sickle cell disease program.

The community is invited to decorate their vehicle trunks, line up along “Candy Lane” and hand out candy to children as they trick or treat. All are welcome to create a family-friendly tailgating party. Classic cars and motorcycles are also welcome and decorating is not a requirement. The cost is $5 per car load for “trunkers” and “treaters” and includes various activities such as a costume contest, haunted house, bonfire, live music and DJ, karaoke, bounce houses and hay rides.

Many are not aware of the need for increasing the number of minority blood and bone marrow donors to combat the chronic illness associated with sickle cell disease. Representatives of the American Red Cross; Be The Match; The Links, Incorporated; and the VCU sickle cell disease program will be in attendance to distribute information and help raise awareness of this issue.

Another way to help combat sickle cell disease is to take part in the “No-Selfie Challenge.” Participants are challenged to not take any “selfies” for a full month. If they do take a selfie, they must post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a text overlay on the selfie that states, “I’m selfie-ing because you need me and I need you. I’m donating $10 and/or blood to SCD and I challenge…”

The VCU sickle cell disease program, led by Wally Smith, M.D., Florence Neal Cooper Smith Professor of Sickle Cell Disease and scientific director of the VCU Center on Health Disparities, treats patients across Virginia. Sickle cell disease is one of the most commonly inherited disorders in the country and is especially prevalent among minority ethnic groups. It has historically been underresearched, underfunded and undertreated.

For more information about the event, visit http://www.powhatanfair.org.