Fright night for food bank

Car­bon­ear fam­ily to hold haunted yard event

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS

The sound of thun­der and sight of light­ning in only one back­yard of a Car­bon­ear home may seem out of the or­di­nary, but for a fam­ily on Val­ley Road, it will be the high­light of their Hal­loween fes­tiv­i­ties.

For sev­eral years Scott and Sher­rie Ann Cooper have been col­lect­ing scary Hal­loween yard or­na­ments. Each year their in­ven­tory grows in an at­tempt to outdo the pre­vi­ous dis­play.

Their youngest son Ben has been ask­ing them to turn those creepy coffins, wicked witches and vi­cious vam­pires into a haunted house since he was lit­tle.

This year, the fam­ily de­cided it was time they put their dozens of props into ac­tion. But not just for en­ter­tain­ment. The event will be a fundraiser for the lo­cal St. Vin­cent de Paul food bank.

With the as­sis­tance of a group of vol­un­teers serv­ing on a com­mit­tee, the project be­gan in early Septem­ber. A ques­tion that the Coop­ers and com­mit­tee keep get­ting asked is “Will it be suit­able for ev­ery­one?”

The thing to re­mem­ber is the in­ten­tion of the event is to scare peo­ple, but there are two lev­els of scari­ness.

For those who just want a star­tle, the yard is go­ing to be alive with ac­tiv­ity. Al­though there will be some small sur­prises, it is kid friendly.

If you’re look­ing for a fright scary enough to keep you up for days, a sep­a­rate build­ing has been con­structed for a more in­tense dis­play. And it’s not for the faint of heart.

Since it’s the first year for this event, most of the yard props and scary char­ac­ters have been kept a sur­prise. But there are a few things peo­ple can ex­pect to see, in­clud­ing tra­di­tional favourites like witches and vam­pires. And you can’t for­get the frightening scare­crow.

The Coop­ers will bar­ri­cade off their drive­way at 130 Val­ley Road, just past Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate. Vis­i­tors will be taken in groups at the en­trance of the yard through a large arch­way.

The walk through should only take a few min­utes, but the Coop­ers want ev­ery­one to know it will be mem­o­rable.

Food bank

The Coop­ers are pas­sion­ate about vol­un­teer­ing, are part of many lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and ac­tive in their church com­mu­nity. Scott de­cided the food bank would be most ben­e­fi­cial from the event, be­cause just be­fore Christ­mas is when the shelves are usu­ally bare.

“Hope­fully it is big for the food bank,” he said at a meet­ing last Wed­nes­day The Com­pass was in­vited to at­tend. “That’s the whole pur­pose.”

A large trailer will sit out front of the Cooper’s home with a sign men­tion­ing the food bank. It was do­nated by a busi­ness in Pla­cen­tia. Nu­mer­ous spon­sors have signed on to help the cause.

Cur­rently, the food bank is low on some canned food, such as beans, stews and meat­balls with gravy. But the or­ga­ni­za­tion doesn’t just col­lect food. Toiletry items, in­clud­ing tooth­paste, toi­let pa­per, di­a­pers and soap will be ac­cepted, amongst other items.

Gift cards are also an op­tion, Scott said. Vol­un­teers will have buck­ets set up in case some­one wants to give their pocket change.

An­other fundraiser will also take place in­side the yard. Pho­tos will be taken dur­ing the frightening parts and vis­i­tors will have the op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase them in aid of the food bank.

So far there is plenty of in­ter­est on the Face­book group Hal­loween Yard Haunt, and the Coop­ers hope to at­tract a few hun­dred vis­i­tors.

The event is open to chil­dren of all ages and takes place Fri­day, Oct. 30 and Satur­day, Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

If you would like to vol­un­teer with the event, call Scott at 7436520 or mes­sage Scott or Sher­rie Ann on Face­book.

PHO­TOS BY MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COM­PASS

The com­mit­tee for the Cooper fam­ily’s haunted yard dis­play in­cludes, front (l-r) — Scott Cooper and Mark Green; back — Doug Brid­gen, Ruby Brid­gen, Sher­rie Ann Cooper, Ben Cooper, Joe Cooper and Wendy Cran­ford. Miss­ing from photo is Clau­dine Gar­land, Matthew Cooper, Jeff New­man and Phil Ros­siter.

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