In the late summer of 2005, five-year-old Ian wanted to experience one last Halloween before he passed away. A simple plan to trick or treat at a few houses quickly turned into a neighborhood party with more than 60 houses participating. Neighbors pulled strings and before they knew it, the Anchorage Fire Department offered to bring a ladder truck to the event.
Thus began the vision for Trick or Treat in the Heat (TOTITH), an event that Ian’s parents, Sean and Joyce, have continued each year since 2005 to honor Ian as well as support organizations that helped their family when Ian was battling leukemia. All funds from wristband sales and donations to Trick or Treat in the Heat are donated to Make-A-Wish, the Ronald McDonald House, and Hospice of Anchorage.
The event not only honors Ian’s life, it also allows Alaska kids to experience the joys of trick or treating without having to endure the cold Alaska weather. Because the event is held in September, kids can wear costumes without getting asked, “What are you dressed up as under that snowsuit?”
What started as an impromptu block party for little Ian has turned into a wonderful event that is enjoyed by our community and benefits those struggling within our community. The event has grown every year, and now incorporates 8 different neighborhoods in Alaska.
For 11 years, Ian's family has chosen to support Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington because of the amazing experience and memories of Ian’s wish. Ian got to be a pilot for a day at McChord Air Force Base and leave behind all the worries and all the concerns of battling leukemia. For one day, he wasn’t a kid with cancer. He was just a kid having the time of his life, riding in an airport fire truck and practicing in a flight simulator.
Now, through the Trick or Treat in the Heat event, Sean and Joyce help us continue to grant wishes to Alaska children who are battling life-threatening medical conditions.
Join us on Sunday, September 11, 2016, for the 11th annual event. More details can be found at http://totith.org/