A bunch of children in costume running.

A Spooky Tradition is Back at the Berrie Center: The Halloween Candy Exchange 2022

Some blowup witch decorations on a front porch.

There’s no better way to celebrate the day after Halloween than at the Berrie Center. For many years, the Berrie Center Halloween Candy Exchange Party has provided a special opportunity for children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) to donate their sugary sweets and select a brand-new toy. This signature event is a chance for children and families to bond with one another and with the Berrie Center staff.

Having diabetes on Halloween is no easy feat, but time and again patients find comfort in uniting at the Berrie Center on November 1 to play games, meet new friends and connect with the old ones.

“These events are the heart of the Berrie Center,” said Natasha Leibel, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Director, Pediatric Diabetes Program, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. “This was our first party back in person since Covid and that made it extra special. Seeing the children all together again in their costumes was amazing.”

The theme of this year’s party was “Hocus Pocus”. Art therapist Cara Lampron and pediatric coordinator Kindra Matthews worked their creative magic to set a spooky scene with lots of tricks and artistic treats. Upon entering the festivities, guests “fed” the Berrie Center tree monster with their Halloween candy. “I am the tree monster. I eat worries and sweets!” Read the sign. “Next, you will visit the witch who has a toy for you!”

Three girls in costume decorating pumpkins at the 2022 Berrie Center Halloween Candy Exchange Party.

A long table filled with toys including dolls, remote control cars, slime and stuffed animals was a joyful sight for all. Activities included pin the pump on the witch, potion making, mystery cauldrons, count the carbs and mask decorating.

“An event like this really speaks to who we are,” said Robin Goland, MD, Co-Director, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center and J. Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Diabetes at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “The children and their families were so happy and joyful. I am grateful to everyone for all their work to make it the success it was.”

At the end of the party every child went home with a bag of healthy snacks courtesy of Melissa Subin and Bake Back America.



The Berrie Center Halloween Candy Exchange Party is made possible through the generosity of our donors. To contribute to events like this, and other programs at the Berrie Center, please make a gift.

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