I'll admit that I didn't always know what a "trunk or treat" was, and no, it does not include the ritual of decorating tree trunks, as erroneously noted on these pages some 12 or 13 years ago.

Urban Dictionary says this style of Halloween trick or treating — also known as Halloween "tailgating" — has its origins in the late 1990s in Utah, as a safe, family- friendly alternative to going door-to-door.

The open-trunk trend spread quickly across the country, (kind of like that chocolate bar melting in your warm pocket), and "exploded" around 2006 in country settings, small towns and city suburbs, according to another website article.

This Halloween season, numerous trunk or treat events can be found leading up to the holiday, in church parking lots and neighborhood settings all across the Grand Valley.

Folks will dress up and decorate their car trunks, then load them with candy and treats to hand out to the kids. The ideas for trunk decorating themes are endless, and the adults have just as much fun dressing up and playing the part as the kids do.

For our church's trunk or treat event last year, Allen and I donned rain gear and toted open umbrellas as we handed out candy from my car trunk that had been transformed into a Noah's Ark.

A ramp that led up into the trunk was lined with a variety of stuffed animals, going two-by-two, into the cardboard "ark" in anticipation of the predicted 40 days and 40 nights of rainfall.

This year we're placing traffic warning signs inside the trunk and surrounding the car with orange cones — road construction style.

We'll don reflective safety vests and hard hats and fill the trunk with all sorts of toy dump trucks, excavators and backhoes, that are crawling around and digging in the "dirt" (a brown blanket).

I suggested to Allen that we hand out miniature traffic cones (candy corn), but he just scrunched up his nose in protest.

"What, no chocolate?"

"Fine," I compromised, "I'll get some chocolate, too."

I just hope he doesn't tuck some away in his warm pocket for later.

A community trunk or treat event, sponsored by more than 30 local businesses, nonprofits and civic organizations, will be offered from 3–5 p.m. today at Grand Junction Memorial Gardens, 2970 North Ave.

According to the event, posted on GJSentinel.com's online calendar, the community is invited to "bring the kids out for a safe afternoon of treats and fun," rain or shine.

Email ainga@stonemor.com or call 243-3490 for information.

AARP will sponsor a free event next week, designed to help the public "Scam Proof Your Life."

Consumer protection specialists from AARP's ElderWatch, the Colorado Attorney General's Office and state/local agencies will present the workshop Nov. 5 at Two Rivers Convention Center. Doors will open at 8 a.m. and the program is from 9 a.m.–noon. Participants can learn how to stay a step ahead of the criminals by spotting and avoiding the latest tactics used by imposter scammers.

Space is limited. Pre-register at aarp.cvent.com/scamproofGJ or call 877-926-8300.

Hot Tomato Cafe & Pizzeria, 124 N. Mulberry St. in Fruita, will sponsor a fundraiser from  11 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday to benefit Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

The Paws and Pies Benefit will feature entry for prize drawings, and adoptable Roice-Hurst dogs will be on site. One percent of the pizzeria's November sales will be donated to Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

Email info@rhhumanesociety.org, call 434-7337 or go to rhhumanesociety.org/calendar for information.

A National Day of Remembrance lunch event, to honor former uranium miners, millers, transporters, and nuclear energy workers for their dedication to protecting their country during the Cold War, is set for 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Wednesday at La Cabra Cantina, 421 Brach Drive,

The event is sponsored by the western Colorado office of Critical Nurse Staffing LLC and is an opportunity for retired Department of Energy contractor or subcontractor workers, who were exposed to various substances while mining, milling, transporting, or working in plants, to be honored for their hard work and dedication to our country, a news release said.

Professional staff will provide information on free medical screenings, education on benefits that may be available to workers, and answer questions related to the Department of Labor's Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

Workers are encouraged to bring one family member or friend. To pre-register or for information, email mollie.shepardson@cnscares.com call 712-3413.

Wheels West Car Club of Grand Junction will sponsor its annual Veterans Affairs Medical Center Car Show at noon Nov. 3 in the VA center parking lot, 2121 North Ave.

The car show is the place to come and show your ride to those who have served you in so many ways, according to a Facebook post.

RiversEdge West staff and board members will sponsor a free informational lunch from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 443 N. Sixth St.

The public can learn more about why and how RiversEdge West works to restore riverside habitat in the West.

Go to riversedgewest.org to pre-register.

The Friends of St. Mary's Medical Center will sponsor a book and gift fair from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Nov. 7 and from 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Nov. 8 in the main lobby of St. Mary's Medical Center.

Items for sale include books, electronics, home goods, children's gifts and more.

Proceeds will benefit the Micah S. Montag Pediatric Fund and the St. Mary's Fund.

Submit Your Town and community news items by email to communitynews@gjsentinel.com, by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to 734 S. Seventh St., Grand Junction, CO, 81501.

Online calendar items can be uploaded at GJSentinel.com/calendar.

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