A group of friends works hard to scare up funds for the Fire Department


October 24, 2001|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A HAUNTED HOUSE designed and built by teen-agers in the Robert's Field neighborhood in Hampstead will benefit Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department.

This fourth annual haunted house will be the last. A number of the teens will attend out-of-town colleges next year, and their spooky fun will be over.

The haunted house will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 31, coinciding with the hours of trick-or-treating in Hampstead.

The house will be in the back yard of Scott Reese, one of the teens in the group. His home is on Gaming Square off Northwoods Trail.

The teens will accept donations to the Fire Department from people entering the four-room house of haunts. The collection last year - the first year the group accepted donations - was $68.

"Anything can help, the firemen said," said Ryan Kraushofer, whose haunted house on the porch of his home five years ago was the seed for the annual project, which springs from the ideas and effort of 12 friends.

"At the Fire Department meeting when we gave the donation [last year], we got a standing ovation," Ryan said. "This year, they've offered to help us set up. We didn't need that, so we've asked for a firetruck to attract attention."

As in past years, Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department will park a firetruck at the Boxwood Drive tennis court area, where firefighters will give candy to kids. This year, a second truck will be parked by the haunted house.

In Hampstead, homeowners who welcome trick-or-treaters should turn on their porch lights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Robert's Field has a tradition of elaborate house decorations and heavy traffic by costumed children. Homeowners hang ghosts or skeletons from their gutters. Others dress in costume to await trick-or-treaters.

The Tunnel of Terror built by homeowner Tim McQuaid with the help of neighbors and relatives predates the teen's haunted house. This year, McQuaid has offered his props and help setting up to the teens.

"We really appreciate Mr. Tim," Ryan said. "He's lending us really cool props, like an executioner, a skeleton and a bleeding rat and a lot of stuff we haven't had before."

The teens spend weekends and afternoons building structures to hold flowing black cloth, wires and lights and creepy creations. Last year, a mannequin head was turned into a grisly barbecue and a donated refrigerator held body parts. The creators receive a discount from Halloween Express in TownMall of Westminster.

"That night, we all get dressed up, and someone stays in the control room to fix wiring. It really gets hot in there, so even though we're really too big, we go trick-or-treating to get some candy for us," Ryan said.

Other members of the group are Ryan DiLeonardi, Ryan Casey, Andrew Shifflet, Laura Orsburn, Dean Thompson, Brian and Daniel Womer, Sheena Stihel, Shelly Bell, and Joe Azzarello.

Community Blood Drive

Residents are encouraged to make an appointment for the Hampstead Community Blood Drive.

Donations will be taken from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at the rear of the fire hall on Main Street.

A person may donate blood every 56 days.

Appointments: 800-448-3543.

Pine Valley walks

Volunteers at Pine Valley Nature Center will offer guided walks though Pine Valley Park from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 3.

Exhibits in the nature center will be open and visitors may take walks on their own.

Pine Valley Park is at the end of Wilhelm Lane, off York Street in Manchester.

Information: http://go.to/pine valley.

Business association to meet

Hampstead Business Association will hold a lunch meeting at noon Nov. 7 at New York J&P Pizza on Main Street.

Associationprojects will be discussed. Guests are welcome. Meetings usually last an hour.

Information: 410-239-8110.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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