Spirit stores sell costumes for a cause

Spirit stores sell costumes for a cause

Last minute costume seekers flocked the aisles of Spokane’s three Spirit Halloween stores on Monday. However, not all the money spent benefited the seasonal chain giant.

Spirit Halloween store has been a fixture in Spokane for nearly two decades. Besides attracting costume-seeking Spokanites, the holiday chain lures pumpkin-loving locals, like Sam Merrill, for seasonal work.

“I am a huge Halloween enthusiast,” said Merrill. “If they left it open year round I would do it year round.”

In addition to supplying Spokanites with a wide variety of costumes for 17 years, Spirit Halloween store has raised over $200,000 for Shriners Children’s Hospital.

The charity, Spirit of Children, has a simple mission: to make hospitals less scary.

“Usually, at the end of a transaction, we’ll ask ‘How much would you like to donate to the child’s life department of Shriners?’ They’ll tell us how much they want to donate. Anywhere from $1 to however much,” said Merrill.

This year, the three Spokane franchises have combined to raise nearly $17,000. Donations earn customers a pumpkin on the wall, and at the Logan neighborhood location, pumpkin real estate is now at a premium. It serves as a reminder that while community members embrace the fun traditions of Halloween, their minds are never far from what really matters.