Niles nonprofit to host ‘Haunted Circus’ Trunk-or-Treat

Published 8:47 am Thursday, October 28, 2021

NILES — A local nonprofit will be providing families with a fun, festive way to celebrate Halloween.

Tattoo the World will be hosting a “Haunted Circus” Trunk-or-Treat from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Brown Funeral Home, 521 E. Main St.

“As kids, we never trick-or-treated in the area,” said Tattoo the World founder Tiara Williams. “I want to give kids in this area a chance to be able to trick-or-treat. A lot of kids don’t have the transportation means to trick-or-treat elsewhere. We want to give them a closer place to go to and have fun.”

The free event will feature candy, games, “spooky surprises” and a photo booth on site. Special guest Nick May, a fire performer who incorporates dance, choreography, theatrics and music into his routines, will be there entertaining guests of all ages.

Hats and gloves will be distributed to low-income and homeless residents in the area.

An organization seeking to raise awareness of and end gun violence in Michiana, Tattoo the World was founded by Williams following the death of her brother, Brandon, who was killed in a June 2019 mass shooting at Kelly’s Pub in South Bend. Her brother’s nickname was “Tattoo.”

“He was born and raised in Niles,” Williams said. “Holidays were his favorite; even as an adult, he’d still dress up. He was very family-oriented and loved kids. He was a sweet soul who impacted the community greatly. We still haven’t received justice and are still trying to keep his name alive and others due to gun violence.”

Williams has also partnered with sneaker recycling organization GotSneakers USA and will be accepting donations in the form of used, gently worn shoes.

After receiving the shoes, GotSneakers will sort them in regional facilities by size, style and condition before selling them at deep discounts to micro-enterprises in Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Ukraine.

Materials that are not reusable are recycled into athletic surfaces around the world.

Tattoo the World will earn money from GotSneakers, based on the number of gently worn, used, and new sneakers collected, which will go toward future events.

Williams organized a trunk-or-treat last Halloween that was well-received by the community and hopes kids and their parents will participate this year.

“We hope we have the success we had last year,” she said. “We had around 200 kids last year and hope to have more. This is something people won’t want to miss. We would like to see smiling faces as we continue to ‘tattoo the world’ for Brandon.”