(Sept. 24) MILWAUKIE, Ore. — Hoping to boost safety awareness this Halloween — and a few bottom lines — the Pear Bureau Northwest, in conjunction with 15 retailers nationwide, is sponsoring an art contest based on Halloween safety tips.

Called the Halloween PEARade Contest, the promotion encourages students in grades 3-5 to illustrate one of eight safety tips designed to help kids be more aware of their surroundings while trick-or-treating. Artwork submitted may be a painting, drawing or collage and must feature a pear in the design.

The eight Halloween safety tips — ranging from “Wear light-colored clothing or reflective aPEARal (apparel)” and “Ask an adult to PEARuse (peruse) your treats before you eat them” — are outlined in a flier, which will begin to circulate in participating stores in early October.

Winners, one from each of the 15 chains, will be selected in late October. Each winner will receive a Halloween party, complete with a “vamPEAR” bat costume. All students who enter the contest will receive a prize, including tattoos featuring pear-shaped Halloween characters, a bookmark and a brochure with kid-friendly recipes.

“The Halloween PEARade Contest is a great way for us to reach young people who will someday be our produce customers,” said Steve Duello, director of produce operations for Dierbergs Markets Inc., St. Louis. “We’ve had very positive feedback about the promotion and felt this is a great way to increase pear sales in our stores and provide our local schools with a fun, educational activity at the same time.”