When 10-year old Waylon Cordle missed Halloween due to a stay in Children’s Hospital, his mother Tara reached out to the Facebook community asking if there were any opportunities for her son to enjoy Halloween this weekend.
Tara received hundreds of comments and messages from members of the community offering to stage another Trick-or-Treat for her son.
“When we got back from the hospital,he saw his costume hanging up and it made him feel a little sad. I put it out on Facebook, and I was just looking for any little festival or something he could do,” explained Cordle. “I was really overwhelmed by the response.”
Waylon didn’t receive just one trick-or-treat, but three. His father works for Pepsi and with the help of his co-workers, they were able to offer Waylon a tour and host a trick-or-trunk event in the parking lot.
Joseph Pratt, the executive director of Main Street Portsmouth, was moved by Cordle’s post and helped to organize a trick-or-treating event in the Welcome Center parking lot on Thursday.
“Waylon is only ten and spends months at a time in the hospital. When I saw he missed trick-or-treat, and he wouldn’t have many more opportunities as a wide-eyed kid, I knew that was unacceptable,” said Pratt. “Main Street reached out to a few partners and then we reached out to more and more. In 23 and a half hours, we managed to get over 30 local organizations, and not counting individuals. We wanted to make it as normal as possible, similar to our Falloween, so we invited his friends as well.”
Waylon, his family and his friends, rode in Main Street Portsmouth’s trackless train and despite overcast rainy conditions, were met with a large reception of organizations and individuals showing their support.
“I was surprised when we made the first turn in the parking lot, I thought that was it but we went around the corner and there were more people,” said Cordle. “I run into people all the time who say, ‘oh you’re Waylon’s mom,’ and I have no idea who they are, I don’t them but they know him. He’s a special kind of kid, that’s for sure. It’s pretty unbelievable.”
When the event was said and done, Waylon and his friends looked through their candy stashes and played with the items they received, there were smiles all around.
“I love my home and its big-hearted residents; we once again proved ourselves a big family with this one. We had Sheriff Donini and Councilman Kevin W. Johnson, as well as Portsmouth and Shawnee Police. We had mascots and local businesses. It was amazing to see so many people standing in the rain so Waylon could have a nice Halloween,” said Pratt.
But this isn’t Waylon’s last stop, there will another trick-or-treat event at the Vernon park at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. When asked what he planned to do with all his candy, Waylon smiled and said, “I’m gonna eat it.”
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.