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Dressed to the nines for Halloween

Josee Lederman hands her mother, Jamie, the Tigger outfit as an ideal costume for a younger sibling. photo by Renee Landuyt.

October 31, 2013
What types of costumes will the little trick-or-treaters be wearing tonight?

Vampires, witches, lions, clowns, super heros and lady bugs will be represented, as will dragons, angels, princesses, skunks, cats, cartoon characters and football players.

These characters were a few of the costumes available at the sixth annual Grosse Pointe Friends of the Library costume sale.

"It's cheap; $5 versus $50," said Sydney Grant of Grosse Pointe Farms, as she and her daughter, Libby, searched for a fairy princess costume.

Mark Saigh of St. Clair Shores and a St. Clare of Montefalco second grader was looking for a green zombie costume. He would not be going trick or treating as the video character Mario again. That was so last year, he said, as he walked through the parking lot to enter the Woods branch where the sale took place Oct. 5.

Library Friends member, Kathy Gaughan, told Saigh and his mother about the sale.

This has been a good fundraiser said Joanne Dennis, Friends' president. "We sell nothing for more than $5 and we made $700 (in 2012). You can't believe the costumes. They are beautiful and in perfect shape."

Boxes are set out in each library branch in August to collect costumes, accessories and small decorations.

A few of the donated Halloween costumes still have the tags attached and others have been handmade. There are stacks of masks, gloves, fairy wings, clown shoes and hats. Friends shake out the costumes and hang them on racks by sizes, ranging from infants to adults. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Saturday in October there is a steady stream of customers looking for a "just right costume."

Eleven-month-old Evie Hartung and 3-year-old sister, Cecily of Grosse Pointe Farms, wanted to be transformed into a chicken and a fairy or pixie, respectively.

Cecily emphasized she would be wearing a pixie costume, not a fairy costume, as her mother suggested.

Tommy Gorski of the Farms was firm about wearing a Thomas, the Tank Engine costume, until he found Buzz Lightyear's wings. Tommy put the hard plastic wings on and the decision was made for his Halloween costume.

"He's wanted to be Thomas for six months," said his mother, Therese, who recently moved back to her hometown from Chicago.

"I became a Friend. I signed up a week ago," she said of how she, Tommy and her daughter, Quinn, came to the sale.

Quinn, who attends St. Paul Academy, was on the lookout for a T-shirt that sparkled to transform her into pop singer Taylor Swift.

Jack Popek, whose mother, Brenda, hails from Oklahoma, tried on a cowboy outfit so he could look like his Oklahoma cousins. With his faux leather chaps, vest and Stetson hat, he said he would round up some suckers during his night of trick-or-treating.

"My wife came last year," said dad, Jack, of why the family was attending the sale. "They have a decent selection."

His daughter, Alice, was undecided. She was a mermaid last year. If the trip to the library was unsuccessful, Brenda said she might have to create a costume.

Reminiscing about previous Halloween costumes, Brenda said one year she made Alice into Repunzel, complete with a long blonde braid and tower. For her son, who was in a stroller for the annual Village parade, Brenda made him into a jack-in-the-box. The box encompassed the stroller with Jack's upper torso extending above the box. The outfit took first prize that year.

As shoppers looked, tried on and selected costumes, Karen Krausmann said she volunteers because, "it's a lot of fun. I'm here to have a good time with the kids. It's a good atmosphere. It's a good community thing to do."

Between 500 and 600 costumes from infant to adult sizes are collected, along with hangers and sacks and stored in Krausmann's basement until Halloween comes around, just like those trick-or-treaters.

Watch for Saigh — he found a black gauzy ghoul costume and glow in the dark skeleton gloves — and drop his favorite piece of chocolate into the bag — Twix.

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