Yudofs host Eastcliff’s annual Halloween events

by Robyn Repya

Halloween is probably the only time to see University President Mark Yudof and his wife Judy dressed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Neither one said who was which.

The Yudofs hosted their annual Halloween party Wednesday afternoon at Eastcliff mansion, decorating the residence with streamers and balloons. It was complete with a kid-friendly haunted house in the basement.

The party was for University staff and faculty, their children and neighborhood families.

Eight-year-old Meredith McDowell went as a vampire, complete with cape and fangs. She removed her fangs while eating a cupcake, trying not to smudge the red blood painted around her mouth over her painted-white face.

“I really liked going through the haunted tunnel,” she said as she colored a picture of jack-o’-lanterns, taking a break from her cupcake.

Kids came dressed as everything from princesses to chickens and were ready to dance to the musical stylings of the Teddy Bear Band.

A large tent in the back yard served as the band’s stage and allowed plenty of room for kids to dance.

A face painter was on hand to decorate faces, arms and hands. Goldy Gopher was also there to give hugs and dance with the kids.

President Yudof said he liked having children of University staff and faculty over for the party.

“The way to bring people together is through their children,” he said.

He also said parents have been concerned recently that Halloween might not be safe for their kids this year. The president said he was happy he could supply a safe and fun environment.

Judy Yudof said the Halloween party was a good way to humanize the University.

She said without any kids at home, the Halloween party is a way to live vicariously through other parents.

“It’s just fun to see the creativity,” she said.

Aled Hertel, 8, came dressed as a lightning-bolt man, with a cape and a bolt painted on his hand.

“My favorite part was when I said to Goldy that a vampire was going to suck his blood,” he said.

Aled’s father, University
network design engineer Chris Hertel, said the pair are veteran party-goers.

Chris Hertel said his kids and he were all excited to come because they know a member of the Teddy Bear Band.

Gail Eckel, President Yudof’s executive secretary, brought her children and grandchildren to the party. She said it’s become a tradition for her family.

“The Yudof’s make it so fun – they really get into it,” she said.