Fright night for food bank
Carbonear family to hold haunted yard event
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.
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.
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.