-- The Tacoma Rainiers mascot, Rhubarb the Reindeer, will make his trick-or-treating debut this Wednesday, October 31st, as a way to help sweeten a young fan's Halloween.
Isabelle Heatherly, 9, of Parkland, WA, has been selected as the winner of the Rainiers first-ever "Trick-Or-Treat with Rhubarb" competition - a two week-long contest held earlier this month that asked fans to submit messages to the team's Facebook page explaining why the antlered face of Tacoma baseball should join their Halloween celebrations.
Of all the entries the Rainiers received from fans, Isabelle's story stood out because of the selfless approach she has taken to trick-or-treating.
Since birth, Isabelle has battled a severe allergy to fructose and sugar. It is a struggle that has resulted in regular trips to the hospital, and has all but nixed her chances of fully enjoying a day devoted to the celebration of all things candy.
Rather than give up on Halloween altogether, Isabelle decided to use trick-or-treating as a way to give back to her friends at school.
"Two years ago Isabelle was in the hospital on Halloween, so last year I suggested that maybe we shouldn't go trick-or-treating because it just isn't fair to her," explained Pamela Heatherly, Isabelle's mother. "But she pulled me aside and said, 'No, I can take the candy back to school so all the teachers can put it in their buckets.'"
"She totally thought of this on her own, and now every year she donates all her candy to the kids in her classroom."
To recognize her efforts, Rhubarb's first foray into trick-or-treating will be with Isabelle and her family as they collect candy around Pacific Lutheran University this Halloween.
"We're in shock that this is actually going to happen," said Heatherly. "I'm just so happy that Isabelle's going to have fun for a change this Halloween."