Nine months after Sandy ruined Halloween for so many, some children in one Long Island community got a sweet do-over, complete with costumes and candy.
Inside the Malibu Beach Camp's playroom on Lido Beach Wednesday, Halloween was back, with dancing superheroes, pretty princesses, gypsies, cowgirls and minions. Never mind that it was a warm July afternoon; hot or not, it was a treat.
For these campers and thousands of others in the area, Halloween was another casualty of Sandy. The storm hit two days before the holiday that almost every child looks forward to, and trick-or-treating took a backseat to recovery.
"Hurricane Sandy hit, and we didn't have Halloween," recalled camper Sophia Mistretta.
Camp director Ilissa Epstein decided to give her kids a chance to celebrate, nine months later.
"They've been talking about it for weeks," she said. "All they want to do is come in in their costumes."
There was a dance party, a costume contest and of course, lots of candy. And the campers got a sense of getting back something the storm had stolen from them.
"They've been telling me all their stories about how when they were home and what they had to endure, a lot of them had to leave their houses," head counselor Ian Stone said. "So it's good to see that they can get their hopes up and get excited to re-do Halloween a couple of months later."
Camper PJ McGuinness was one of the storm victims.
"It was really upsetting because I was out of my house for six months, and we got 5 feet of driftwood in our basement," he said.
But on this day, PJ was all smiles, not just because his taco suit won the costume contest -- but because trick-or-treating any time of the year is just sweet.