2019 Civitan Blog

Too often animals are neglected, injured, and abandoned. We are fortunate to have several compassionate organizations in the Denver Metro area that are working hard to end pet homelessness and animal suffering. They shelter, feed, and enrich our adoring animals while they are waiting for a loving family to go home to.

The arc Ambassador Civitan Club wanted to do something to help these wonderful organizations and to make these animals more comfortable as they wait for their forever families. To do so, at our last meeting, the Club made over 100 chew toys that will be donated to several animal shelters in the Denver area. The material for the chew toys came from recycled t-shirts from arc Thrift Stores.

Normal Club business was also attended to at this most recent meeting. President Michelle Knight opened the meeting with leading the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Civitan Creed. Kyle Knoeble, our club treasurer, made several announcements including inviting everyone to the Ambassador Halloween party on October 30th. We heard a few words from Bernie Funk, the new Civitan area director, and we welcomed a new member to our club, Ryan Maly. Jeff Alexander offered to do artwork for the Civitan International Christmas card, and we elected Marlene Glimm as our new secretary, with Emily Waldo standing in as backup. The Rocky Mountain Civitan Club also provided all the Ambassadors with Halloween goodie bags.

If you are interested in helping animals in the Denver area, there are many items that are needed at various animal shelters that keep the animals happy, healthy, and most of all adoptable. Items include dog and cat toys, canned wet food, dog or cat treats, blankets, and towels. If you would like to donate needed supplies or volunteer at The Denver Animal Shelter go to  https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-animal-shelter/get-involved/volunteer.html or at the Dumb Friends League, https://www.ddfl.org/volunteer/.


Halloween Blog #3 Sanderson Sisters /Mark McDaniels

Hocus Pocus, the silly, over-the-top comedy, is a Halloween classic and one of our favorite movies. The three main characters – played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker – are hilarious, campy, and wickedly funny. The witchy threesome is also the inspiration for some AMAZING build-your-own costumes created by our very own Mark McDaniels.

Mark has been with arc for over 5 years. Mark’s job is to merchandise for our stores. He is responsible for the new Halloween product buy as well as a member of the new store opening team. But Halloween is his favorite! Mark and his partner in artistic endeavors, Gerta Thompson, spend months searching the country for the most amazing Halloween costumes and décor. They attend Halloween shows every year in January to find the hottest in Halloween trends. This literally takes months and a lot of devotion. But the result is that our 30 stores are literally bursting with Halloween delights!!

When Mark isn’t ensuring that our cauldrons are stocked to ghoulish perfection, he is creating amazing Halloween costumes from items found from the aisles of arc. This year he outdid himself by designing three fabulously frightful creations based on the Sanderson Sisters, the three witches from Hocus Pocus.

“I love that Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson are so off beat,” Mark said. “I love that their outfits, and their hair and their makeup are over the top and outrageous; this makes creating Halloween costumes based on them all the more fun because I get to embrace that wackiness and really run with my imagination.”

But Mark is also a stickler for detail. Each character has definite and recognizable features (such as Winifred’s red hair, the vacuum Mary carries with her, or the capes the three sisters wear) and he’s very careful to include them.

He spent hours visiting just about every arc store along the Front Range and each of the fiendish build-outs incorporated both new and donated items. And, sometimes pieces of a costume came from unexpected places. The bodice on Winifred’s costume, for instance, was actually created from a table runner Mark found in the Domestics section of a store. Her cape was made from a donated graduation gown and a segment of drape. For her amazing hair, Mark used a new wig but then teased and styled it to look just like Winifred’s crazy mane!

Here’s the breakdown of how Mark waved his magic wand to create these lovelies!

Winifred Sanderson:

  1. Striped tights (new)
  2. Dress (donated costume)
  3. Bodice (created from table runner)
  4. Gloves (cut and designed from new spiderweb tights)
  5. Cape (from a graduation gown)
  6. Hooded cape (added to cape and made from a piece of drape)
  7. Black boots (donated)
  8. Jewelry (donated)
  9. Red wig (new, but then teased and styled)
  10. Wig cap (new)
  11. Large book covered and decorated with spooky images (embellished)
  12. Makeup palette (new)

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 12.28.35 PM

Mary Sanderson:

  1. Striped leggings (donated)
  2. T-shirt (donated)
  3. Vest dress (donated costume then cut and redesigned)
  4. Two flowing skirts (donated)
  5. Cape with hood (donated)
  6. Black shoes (donated)
  7. Jewelry (donated)
  8. Dark wig (new, but then teased and styled and adorned with ribbon)
  9. Wig Cap (new)
  10. Vacuum (donated)
  11. Makeup palette (new)

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 12.29.04 PM

Sarah Sanderson:

  1. Striped tights (new)
  2. Dress (donated costume)
  3. Scarf belt with coins (piece of donated costume)
  4. Cape (donated)
  5. Black shoes (donated)
  6. Jewelry (donated)
  7. Long blonde wig (new, then teased and styled)
  8. Wig cap (new)
  9. Broom (donated)
  10. Makeup palette (new)

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 12.29.33 PM



The candy’s great and everything, but to us what’s REALLY fun about Halloween is the costumes!

And, not just any old costume. At arc we have a special place in our hearts for creepy and frightfully awesome build-your-own creations, for Halloween get-ups that are inspired by the imagination!

Building your own Halloween costume – whether it’s scary or silly, based on your favorite celebrity or TV character or purely fantastical – might seem a bit daunting. But we’re here to tell you it’s really actually quite easy! It’s as simple as going to your local arc, grabbing a cart, strolling the aisles, and then letting your imagination run wild! And, the good news is that because you’ve thrifted it, it won’t scare your bank account.

Here are a few particularly great costume creations we came up with when we were at the Louisville store. And, the treat of this trick is that each one of these cost less than $25!


If the world can’t have this wonderful man with us now, at least you can dress up like him!

  1. Gray pants
  2. Belt
  3. White shirt
  4. Tie
  5. Cardigan
  6. Gray wig
  7. Wig cap
  8. Tennis shoes
  9. Dress shoes

arc_Pinterest Halloween Costume Boards Mr. Rogers-11


Just because the show is over doesn’t mean you can’t fangirl all over Khaleesi.

  1. White graduation robe (sleeves turned inside)
  2. White dress
  3. Gold belt
  4. Silver high heels
  5. Black brooch
  6. Long blond wig
  7. Wig cap
  8. Toy dragon

arc_Pinterest Halloween Costume Boards Khalessi-12


This master of the Happy Tree is the personification of creativity!

  1. Jeans
  2. White button down shirt
  3. Belt
  4. Tennis shoes
  5. Curly wig
  6. Wig cap
  7. Painting
  8. Paint brushes and a palette

arc_Pinterest Halloween Costume Boards Bob Ross-09


Scream queens are always popular!!

  1. Pink dress
  2. Pink high heels
  3. Silver tiara
  4. Pearl bracelet
  5. Purple bracelet
  6. Crystal bracelet
  7. Long blond wig
  8. Wig cap
  9. Makeup palette

arc_Pinterest Halloween Costume Boards Zombie-10

Make sure to check out our Pinterest page to see full build-outs.  https://www.pinterest.com/arcthriftstores/halloween/diy-halloween-costumes/

2019 arc Thrift Stores Halloween

When there’s a bit of a chill in the air and there’s a hot pot of soup on the stove, it can only mean one thing: HALLOWEEN is almost here!

We LOVE Halloween with everything we’ve got here at arc! It’s our favorite time of the year and we simply cannot get enough of the pumpkins, witches, goblins, fairy princesses, and superheroes! From the spooky to the sweet, we love every trick and every treat! In fact, we spend nearly an entire year preparing for this season of fun; we go on buying trips all over the country to find the BEST and most on-trend costumes and décor, and we gather our most inspiring minds throughout the year to brainstorm wacky creations so we’re there to help our customers build their own costumes!

For us, Halloween is all about imagination. The sky’s the limit!

It’s about finding a big oversized jacket in the men’s section, a sparkly pink dress in the women’s section, a pair of biker boots from the shoe department, dangly earrings, a tiara, and a package of ghoulish makeup…and BOOM! You’ve got a Zombie Prom Queen! (Best part? You’ve spent less than $25!)

arc Halloween 3

Or, it’s a simple green sweatshirt from boys for only $3 that you take home and bedazzle, adorn with felt, and transform with your own artistic talent into the cutest Ninja Turtle ever!

Is the movie Hocus Pocus your fav? Grab your besties and be transformed into the Sanderson sisters with a simple wave of a wand…and some inspirational finds at your local arc!

And, if you’re hosting the annual Halloween party, arc is the perfect place to get what you need. Whether it’s a kids’ party, a neighborhood potluck, or an adults-only get-together, we’ve got a ton of spooky Halloween décor! Everything from spiderwebs for a haunted house to faux pumpkins for your front steps to a seasonal garland for your mantel. And, if you need a crockpot for a stew to feed all your friends or an extra-large bowl to hold all your candy for all the trick or treaters, we’ve got that, too!

Our cauldrons are full…and the prices won’t scare your bank account! Come by any of the 30 arc Thrift Stores along the Front Range – each one a Halloween Headquarters – for the state’s largest selection of everything you need to make this a ghoulishly fun time of the year!