Some alumni decided to get an early start to Halloween on the evening of Friday, October 28, 2022. Our 2017 alumnus, Amy Maiorano was kind enough to offer the use of her home for fellow alumni and staff members to embrace the upcoming Witching Hour! The planning process began days earlier with the help of Amy’s boyfriend, Brendan Salmon from the Class of 2019. He also worked hard with helping Amy purchase the supplies at Party City and Spirit Halloween. Hosting parties is a great deal of work, and success is not entirely up to the planner. A party cannot truly exist unless some of the guests actually show up and have a wonderful time. This was fortunately the case when the fun started that Friday evening in Amy’s apartment!

Amy and Brendan have a great deal of friends who did not fail to make an appearance. One of the unique aspects of the celebration is that individuals beyond the College Experience who do not identify as having a disability were in attendance who have supported Amy and Brendan through work and other aspects of the community. Amy bought a microphone contraption that allowed for Karaoke and a chance for her guests to perform standup comedy. Attendees spoke about comical moments within their own family as well as being accosted by a Karen who was yelling at them for loitering in a friend’s driveway! We remind everybody we work with that they are a full-grown adult. As long as their actions are not offensive and/or illegal, they have the right to harmlessly fool around under appropriate circumstances like a fun party. One of Amy’s staff members even brought a book of Halloween Trivia and Jokes along with a Now this is Halloween CD with classic songs. (That is correct! There are still people who are holding on to the magic of the 1990s in which CDs were the most innovative thing since sliced bread!) Through the book, we learned that the late-actor David Warner was the first choice to play Freddy Krueger on the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise before the part was made infamous by Robert Englund. We also found out the original product name for Candy Corn was going to be “Chicken Feed.” (Perhaps we are all in consensus that “Candy Corn” sounds more crowd pleasing!)

Attached are some photos from the Big Night. Amy’s staff and her peers made sure that Amy did not have to do everything all by herself. They were generous about bringing pizza pies, cakes, cookies, and various other treats. Amy’s staff had taken the liberty of driving her to the discounted Halloween section of a local store to purchase things like foam gravestone, fake eyeballs, and other not-so-scary decorations to enhance her living space. They spent at least one full day before the celebration taping everything together only to find out the hard way that the special tape was not equipped to withstand gravity before Amy’s party. We quickly found another option so all of this hard work setting everything up would not be in vain!

One of Amy’s trademark qualities is her empathy and desire to make sure that nobody feels left out. This is most likely why so many people felt welcome at her celebration. Amy’s dream is to also meet Taylor Swift and show her idol the music video she released in 2015 called, “22Q” which is inspired by Taylor’s hit song, “22.” (Her staff is trying to get in touch with Ms. Swift’s management team). The music video is accessible under the YouTube link of: We are looking forward to more exciting celebrations hosted by Amy as well as any of her peers that want to have a celebration in their home. It is going to be a great deal of work to ensure that all of the cogs turn smoothly, but nobody we support is ever going to have to do all of the work entirely by themselves!