About 40 volunteers and actors are putting on the Zed Haunted House show every night until Oct. 31. The spooky attraction also has weekend matinee and evening shows. All the money raised will help Central Alberta children and families through the programs and services at Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer and District. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Boys and Girls Club haunted house cancelled

Popular spookfest postponed because of pandemic health restrictions

One of Red Deer’s spookiest annual attractions will not be held this year because of pandemic health restrictions.

The Boys and Girls Club haunted house fundraiser will not happen this year, it was announced Tuesday. Cancelling the event will mean a $100,000 fundraising loss for the youth organization.

“This decision was guided by our top priority to ensure the health and safety of all those who help make the event a success every year – not just staff, but adult and youth volunteers, as well as spectators,” said Rob Lewis, executive director of Youth HQ, in a statement.

The decision ultimately came down to gathering and safety restrictions as a result of COVID-19. Organizers feel these challenges, among others, simply would not allow for the quality of show central Albertans have come to expect from the annual frightful fundraiser.

“This wasn’t an easy decision,” said John Johnston, Youth HQ community engagement manager.

“The funds we raise from this event support Boys and Girls Club operations every year. It’s a tough blow. However, the health and safety of everyone involved trumps all those considerations.”

Johnston says a bigger and better haunted house event will mark the 30th anniversary of Red Deer’s Most Fatal Attraction in October 2021.

Youth HQ is planning a few smaller alternative events this year to help offset the loss in revenues, including the Halloween Howl Poker Run on Oct. 31 and a Fright Night Drive-In movie series during the last two weeks of October. More details will be announced soon.

The Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer and District was started in 1983, and currently serves more than 900 youth in nine central Alberta communities.



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