Monday, October 31, 2016


—From Karen Koop, DVCA President
Wow! This year's 6th annual Trunk or Treat turnout was astonishing! The stunning Bradford Ranch  was transformed into a Halloween fantasy, with over 300 excited kids and families, creative trunks, dressed up doggies, a mind blowing costume parade, free trick or treat bags, food, many talented vendors, karaoke and plenty of first timers experiencing what has become a cherished Deerhorn Valley tradition.  Art Valdivia's photography is featured on his gallery; links are on and the Deerhorn Exchange. His photos capture the Trunk or Treat spirit perfectly. So check it out if you haven't already. It requires a dedicated team of volunteers to weave their magic into a web of wonder for Deerhorn families, so we'd like to thank each of them for their commitment (and muscles!).

First, THANK YOU to Carole Bradford and daughter Dr. Darcy for allowing us to descend on their property for several days with truckloads of stuff! Carole and Darcy you are SO much fun and we can’t thank you enough. This was our most successful Trunk or Treat to date and your beautiful place was the perfect backdrop for the growing event.

The DVCA Trunk or Treat Planning Committee spent hours hashing out the details of this years event and that was not always an easy task since this was a new and very large venue. I’d love to list everything each one of them did but that would evolve into a large encyclopedia! So THANK YOU to Carole Bradford, Vickie Kerley, Debbie Hopkins, Mike Kaszuba, Michelle Braun, Sharon Gladding, Vickie Stevens, Colene Stoernel and Vickie Banning. You guys were wonderful to work with!

Kim Hamilton made all the super cute road signs, posted event reminders in Antler Alerts and on the Exchange plus wrote the T or T announcement included in DVCA’s donation letter. THANK YOU Kim for always being on top of DVCA communications!

Many volunteers arrived the day before Trunk or Treat to whip Carole’s huge corral into a haven for all things Halloween. Folks from the community along with DVCA Steering Committee members worked really hard to pull it all together and we are so grateful for their help! THANK YOU community members Dave Yarborough, Dave Gladding, Kevin Foster, Sheriff Dane Wiesner, Sam Bothello, Shelley Knepper and Dr. Darcy. Also THANK YOU to DVCA  Steering Committee members Sharon Gladding, Mary Jane Quinn, Carole Bradford, Debbie Hopkins, Susie Norton, Michelle Braun and Mike Kaszuba who also rigged our new fog machine!
Bob Johnston, owner of the Trading Post donated and delivered 20 bales of straw plus the clever painted bales for use during the event. THANK YOU Bob for your generous donation. Amazing what can be created with a few bales of straw!

There was no less work to do on Trunk or Treat Day! Susie Norton fired up the popcorn machine, while Debbie Bothello with daughter Sam spun cotton candy and settled their animals into the Petting Zoo. Ticket and DVCA merchandise sales were handled by Vickie Kerley, Vickie Stevens and Kathy Collins. Burgers and hot dog chefs Harry Fulgham and Dane Wiesner  kept hungry tummies filled while Harry’s wife Marsha along with Mary Duffy loaded the plates. Harry and Marsha Fulgham also shopped for the food and BBQ supplies. Michelle Braun and Mike Kaszuba sliced the piles of tomatoes and lettuce.  Mary Jane Quinn was our greeter who passed out the treat bags containing dental goodies donated by Jamul dentist Dr. John LaFleur and blinking glasses given by Carole Bradford. Mary Jane Quinn, Mary Duffy, Marissa Morrison, Sierra Manos and Tania Cooley had the difficult job of judging the contests. Face Painting was done by DVCA’S incredibly creative Debbie Hopkins.

Kevin Foster, Kristy Wolfe, and Mary Duffy were great parking attendants as they navigated cars, trucks, horse trailers and firetruck through the very long driveway and into the field. THANK YOU! Border Patrol Agent Melissa Pena was a lifesaver, driving down to Honey Springs and DV Rd. to direct traffic up to the Ranch. THANK YOU MEL!
New this year was the karaoke provided by Bud and Karen Thomason.  What a fun addition to our event!

Another new addition thanks to DVCA’er Vickie Kerley was our gathering of talented vendors. They included: amazing whittler Dave Yarborough who donated the gorgeous Santa ornament for a raffle to benefit DVCA won by Mike and Peg Hance, talented bakers Titus and Barbara Lowell, crafters Sandy Hopkins and friend Diane, painter Amanda Morrison with seamstress mom Paula Morrison, jewelry by Marcy Hohnemann, scrumptious olive oils from Deerhorn Valley Winery owner Diane Collis and animal treats from Kahoots Rancho San Diego.

Special guests this year were the Border Patrol including BP Community Liason Ryan Magnuson, and former Liason Melissa Pena who regularly attend our DVCA meetings. Also there were the Sheriff’s Dept, Fire Dept, Mounted Search and Rescue and Miss Rancho Jamul 2016, Marissa Morrison,  Miss Jr. Teen Rancho Jamul 2016, Sierra Manos and Miss Teen Singing Hills 2016, Tania Cooley.

Eric Williams of SDWISP provided wireless internet for the event for instant posting of adorable pictures!

Additional darling photos could be posted thanks to our photographer Art Valdivia. Check them out on SmugMugs  for a real treat! He not only took wonderful pictures throughout the day, but also staged a group picture of all the kids after the costume parade. That's a challenge!
THANK YOU ALL OF YOU for making our day even more special. We appreciate you so much!
THANK YOU also to the cleanup crew who had the fun job of taking down and re-organizing all the stuff! Carole Bradford, Susie Norton, Mike Kaszuba, Michelle Braun, Mary Jane Quinn, Harry Fulgham, Dave and Sharon Gladding, Paula Morrison and Pete Koop, you guys are the best and greatly appreciated!

And finally, THANK YOU to Doug and Carol Dube who graciously stored our Trunk or Treat supplies this past year.

Trunk or Treat is growing! The only way we can bring it to you is if we have a large volunteer work force (we need you next year!) and you, our community to show up, have a great time and support our efforts. We are so blessed. 

With heartfelt gratitude,
Karen Koop, DVCA President