BATON ROUGE - Children from all around the Baton Rouge community came out for the 17th annual Halloween BOOzar Tuesday evening at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse.
"The Halloween BOOzar is a really good event that we look forward to every year, and all the teams come together and participate," Assistant Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Civic Engagement Jade Bryan said. "It's really fun to see everybody take part in the same event and be here at the same time while also helping out local kids. The BOOzar provides a safe place for children to come and have fun with the student-athletes. It's a really fun event that our department loves to take part in."
Upon walking in, children and their families were asked to donate canned goods for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Then, they were given autograph sheets that they could bring to every student-athlete, cheerleader or Tiger Girl at the event to sign.
While the student-athletes signed autographs and met their numerous young fans, the children were provided with a safe trick-or-treating atmosphere as they collected candy at each sport's station. Every team also offered a game related to their sport that they played along with the children.
Men's and women's basketball set up a goal and hosted a shooting contest, both golf teams had a small putt-putt scene, and men's and women's tennis set up a miniature net for children to show off their skills in one-on-one matches.
Women's tennis freshman Caroline Hudson enjoyed interacting with the children at the event and seeing their many creative costumes.
"This is a great event, and it's great to be here with the team," Hudson said. "It's a really good chance to get our minds off of school and tennis and just enjoy meeting the community. It's very rewarding."
Mike the Tiger donned a Darth Vader costume, and every sport dressed to a theme. The volleyball team's costumes were a hit among the other student-athletes, as they dressed as the characters from "Rugrats," an animated television show.
"Volleyball is bringing back those childhood memories," senior guard and 2012 SEC All-Tournament Team selection Adrienne Webb said. "Seeing them along with everybody else in their costumes is really great. It's always a pleasure coming out and seeing all of our fans and giving treats to all the kids. We have a blast with all the sports getting to see all of each other in our goofy outfits and Halloween costumes."
While the student-athletes enjoy dressing up and seeing all the other sports do the same, they understand that the BOOzar is really for the children and the community.
"We just got done with practice, and the entire team came over here," junior pitcher Nick Rumbelow said. "It's a great opportunity for us to give back. We love seeing all the kids in their costumes, and the smiles on their faces really make us feel good when we give back."