Get your facts straight

Dear sir:
Mr. Dakin, in response to your letter to the editor dated Nov. 2, 2005, I was very hurt and disturbed that you would, for one second, even think this is about anything other than keeping our children safe.
You really should get your facts and information straight before attacking the “Scott Street Scare” and me.
First of all, I do not represent the BIA—this is something I created and implemented all by myself. I got the idea from what once was “Treat Street” in International Falls and decided it would be a good idea if Fort Frances had something like that and the only feasible place to have it was on Scott Street.
Times have changed and parents have to go out to trick-or-treat with their children because of safety issues. That leaves no one at home to give out treats, thus the lights are out and there are fewer homes for the kids to go to.
Forty-five businesses and organizations donated cash and their storefronts for this year’s “Scott Street Scare,” and their staff volunteered to stay past their store hours to hand out the treats. A large number of other businesses donate cash to this event because they agree the kids need a safe place to go for their treats.
Many of the residents donate what they would have given, either in candy or cash, so they still can participate in some small way. Ask an elderly person if they still hand out treats and I’ll bet a lot of them don’t because they either can’t get up and down, or because they are too nervous about who is at their door.
The two women who volunteered to hand out candy at my store don’t do so at their homes because they are single and nervous about who comes to the door, but they had a blast seeing all the kids and families dressed up for Hallowe’en.
This has become a family event—and there even was a dog in costume.
If you miss the kids, all I was suggesting was that you come downtown and you will see amazing costumes and families having a lot of fun. It is your opinion and your choice to support “Scott Street Scare” or not, but don’t attack me before you get all your facts straight.
Do you really think that the parents have time to shop at these businesses when staff are handing out treats and normally close at 5 p.m.? “Scott Street Scare” runs from 4:30-6:30, so how could we even sell product when we normally close before 6:30.
What about the year we had a dance for the kids at the Legion. Did that benefit the businesses on Scott Street? What about the four years that my business was out on the highway. Do you really think that this benefited my business?
I still ran “Scott Street Scare” all those years, except when it fell on a Sunday (and I wish I could think of something to do for the kids those years when Hallowe’en does fall on a Sunday).
For you to say that the businesses are using the children to draw the parents downtown to spend money is ludicrous. We are keeping our children safe and I am grateful to the 45 businesses who did help this year.
Believe me when I say I don’t think there is one business that had sales of any kind from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.
If this idea is so bad, and we are only out for the cash the parents are going to spend, how come my sales were zero and we had 1,500 kids downtown? As for me getting bored with the concept, it’s been eight years and I’m having a blast—and so are the 1,500 kids who come to Scott Street year after year.
We will continue on with the “Scott Street Scare” and, hopefully, we will get better every year that we put it on. There are problems and we do try to address them every year.
If anyone had feedback on the event, I would appreciate you calling me at Masquerade at 274-2208 instead of publicly attacking me.
Sandra McNay
Fort Frances, Ont.