Residents scare because they carePublished 11:15am Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Michelle Boeckers and Kathy Brockman love Halloween, and that may be putting it mildly.
The roommates decorate their house for their holiday, the only house on their block to do so, according to Boeckers. And that’s not just because they love to decorate either.
“Our house is the only house that is not decorated for Christmas,” Boeckers said.
The two women have turned that passion for Halloween into a way to help families.
The haunted house the Boeckers and Brockman created last year will be open again this year. The house, located at the old St. Edwards Church in Henning, will be open from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 17, 18 and 25.
Admission to the house is $5, but Boeckers said parents can feel good about where the money is going. Once the women pay the expenses used to set up the project, the rest of the proceeds will go to Henning Hope, a non-profit organization that works to help families, and especially children, in the area.
“If this haunted house makes it so that we can help one more child or two more children, or maybe another family, that’s why we do it,” Boeckers said.
Henning Hope President Jessica Strege has worked with Boeckers and Brockman in the past and knows how important it is to a non-profit to have backing in the community.
“It’s extremely valuable,” Strege said of the haunted house. “Anything we can get financially helps. Michelle and ‘Brock’ really support our group.”
The next big project for Henning Hope is a winter shopping program, where Hope representatives purchase winter coats, including jackets, boots and hats, and a toy for underprivileged children during the holidays.
Last year, the proceeds from the house were split among Henning Hope and the Otter Tail Central wrestling team. But this year, in order to avoid playing favorites at the school, Boeckers and Brockman decided to give all the money to Henning Hope.
Henning Hope received about $300 from the haunted house last year and served 78 children as part of their winter program, according to Strege. With all proceeds now going to the organization, combined with an expected increase in attendance, Boeckers anticipates that number will be much higher this year.
Boeckers has promised the house will be even better than last year and that children will definitely be scared, but she kept the specifics a secret. Volunteers from all over town, including Strege, have stepped up and helped in the planning and setup and to work during the three nights the house is open.
The city of Henning has also helped out, volunteering to pay for the electricity used in the building. That means more money will go towards Henning Hope, which is the main reason why Boeckers and Brockman have the haunted house up and running.
Boeckers promises a “ghoulishly good time” to anyone who comes out during the three days. But the impact of the haunted house will be greater and longer-lasting than the scares the children will experience.