Lake Bluff mom crusades for costumes
Lake Bluff resident Marie Colette is collecting Halloween costumes for needy children at her office in downtown Lake Bluff, Griffith Grant & Lackie, costume central for donations. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Marie Colette
HOMETOWN: Lake Bluff
AVOCATION: Kids’ causes, including the Costume Crusade
WORDS TO LIVE BY: “Halloween is the one day in a child’s life (when) they can fantasize.”
LAKE BLUFF — Last year she hoped to receive 50 costumes, but got 234.
This year Marie Colette of Lake Bluff is crossing her fingers for more donations in her Halloween Costume Crusade, since she’s received additional requests for new and gently used costume donations from schools, churches and other groups.
“I’m getting a little nervous,” the lifelong Lake Bluff resident said. “It’s been a little slow so far, but that’s how it was last year, too.”
Colette started her costume collection in 2011 after noticing that trick-or-treaters at her house on Rockland Avenue in Lake Bluff from North Chicago and Waukegan usually wore no Halloween costume. Typically, they didn’t have a pumpkin container or trick-or-treat bag, either.
That broke her heart, Colette said. “Halloween is the one day in a child’s life (when) they can fantasize, dress up in a costume and just be a child.”
What started as an email missive to friends and co-workers turned into a community outpouring of support.
“I never expected to get 234 costumes,” Colette admitted. “It was wonderful.”
Teresa Hall, a friend of Colette’s, dropped off donations last year and ended up staying to help sort them by size and gender until nearly midnight, which is something she was happy to do for a friend who is so giving.
“I once gave her a pillow that said, ‘Stop me before I volunteer again.’ Obviously, she doesn’t have that pillow any more,” Hall joked.
Helping children, in particular, is Colette’s strong suit.
“I think her maternal instinct runs beyond her own two children. It’s very much a part of who she is,” Hall said.
Colette, a real estate agent, requests that children through small adult costume donations for older kids in the 2012 Costume Crusade be dropped off by Friday, Oct. 26, at the two Griffith, Grant & Lackie locations, where she works. The offices are located at 678 N. Western Ave., Lake Forest, and at 8 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff.