Some projects are a nightmare
N ightmare at Beaver Lake is one of the creepiest club projects you’re likely to run into — but in a good way.
Last year, the Rotary Club of Sammamish, Washington, USA, raised more than $100,000 through its haunted adventure at Beaver Lake Park, entertaining thousands of children and their parents. The Halloween event this year runs from 24 October through 31 October.
Proceeds are used to support club service projects, help local charities, and support RI projects that address the Millennium Development Goals.
The Sammamish club was chartered in 2003. A year later, Nightmare at Beaver Lake was launched as a way of involving the city's sizable teenage population in the planning and execution of an event they’d also be drawn to as customers, says Dee Hoeke, the club’s 2004-05 president. The event has grown from 4,000 visitors during four nights the first year to an eight-night production attracting more than 10,000 visitors.
Through the process, the club has formed a broad partnership with local businesses, youth groups, high school students, and the Sammamish City Parks Department. The event is co-produced by Scare Productions, a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years' experience staging haunted-house events.
"We literally involve hundreds of people in the community to put on the show for the enjoyment of thousands," says Anita Boser, press secretary of the Sammamish club.
Each year’s theme is unique. This year, participants encounter scenes of fractured fairy tales and medieval mayhem as they make their way along a three-quarter-mile wooded trail with indoor and outdoor sets.
"A medieval battle is underway to win the castle back from a vampire clan, an evil hag has placed a curse on the poor villagers, and fairy tales are being fractured," says Dana Young, a Sammamish resident and volunteer.
For event details, including hours of operation, visit www.nightmareatbeaverlake.com .
Nightmare at Beaver Lake supports a variety of projects including college scholarships, computers for schools in Uganda, wells in Ethiopia, and a literacy program for third-graders in King County. The event also supports Thanksgiving baskets for needy families and fresh fruit and vegetables for local food banks.
Additional charities supported by the event include Habitat for Humanity, the Life Enrichment Organization for developmentally challenged adults, the YMCA Partner with Youth program, and DECA.
For information on how your club could put on a similar fundraiser, contact Hoeke at the Rotary Club of Sammamish .