Ali RosenOct 27, 2017, 11:43 pmOct 30, 2017, 11:55 am

Nonprofit that helps people with disabilities alleges discrimination at Halloween store

SPARC Inc.: Worker at White Plains business kicked out young adults who were shopping


WHTIE PLAINS — Mayor Tom Roach, alongside the attorney general, are looking into a civil rights issue which allegedly occurred right in the heart of the city and it's all connected to what should be a fun holiday. It began in Halloween Headquarters on Mamaroneck Avenue.

Rose Roth is the executive director of SPARC Inc., a Yorktown-based non-profit that provides hundreds of programs to people with developmental disabilities of all ages. Roth alleges a store employee kicked out some of their young adults while they were shopping.

Roth tells FiOS1 News this type of discrimination humiliated and upset the individuals looking to buy their Halloween costumes. But with the help of social media this story made headlines and sparked Somers resident, Jay Canzio, to step in and help.

“Read the article and really touched and felt like he wanted to show some support for the kids and called me up and said, ‘Can I buy some Halloween costumes for them since they had a problem at the Halloween store?’ And I said, 'Yeah, that would be so nice of you, but by the time we put it together, you know, Halloween might be over, you know.' And he said, ‘I’ll leave my house right now; meet me at the store,’" Rose said.

Canzio, who had never even heard of the SPARC organization before, bought 13 costumes for the young adults. The purchase was done just in time for SPARC's annual Halloween party on Friday.

“It's just unbelievable. And after that he just really connected with us and he's already offered to get the kids holiday gifts and to get involved with us in, you know, a variety of ways,” Rose said.

The incident moved elected officials to get involved as well.

“It looks like a civil rights issue, and we have a good relationship with the attorney general’s office here in White Plains and I got on the phone to them and they're on it. So we'll see what the outcome is,” Mayor Roach.

On Friday, FiOS1 News asked those heading out of Halloween Headquarters if this discrimination claim would've prevented them from entering the store.

“It might've because especially there’s a lot of Halloween stores around here. So if I knew that, it would probably make me want to go to a different store,” said local resident Adam Levine.

Halloween Headquarters was unavailable for comment.

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