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Haunted warehouse on Bridge Avenue opens for its second year
Oct. 24, 2011
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Delano Jaycees running project as fundraiser for food shelf

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

DELANO, MN – The Delano Jaycees are again scaring people (hopefully not right through the walls this year) at their haunted warehouse on Bridge Avenue in the former True Value Hardware location.

The 2011 project’s co-chairpersons are Johnny Andres, Jessica Artibee, Cassie Butterfass, and Dan Krause.

“The design is different this year,” Krause said. “The layout is more intense. We’re hoping to scare people throughout it, more than just at parts of it, so we’re hoping that, from start to finish, it’s scary all the way around.”

The haunted warehouse is again going to be a fundraiser for the Delano Helping Hands Food Shelf. Admission to the haunted house costs $7, or $5 with an item for the food shelf.

“By cutting a break on admission, we’re hoping that we’re able to donate a large volume of food to the local food shelf,” Delano Jaycees President Nichole Krause said. “Last year, we collected almost 1,000 pounds of food.”

The Jaycees also saw almost 1,000 people attend the haunted house last year over its nights of operation. This year, organizers are hoping for at least the same number, if not more.

“We have a reputation to uphold this year,” Nichole Krause said with a laugh.

Like last year, the design of the haunted house was devised primarily by long-time Delano Jaycee Martin “Toon” Bauman and Andres.

“Martin tried to design it this year a little bit better so that people don’t run through the walls,” Andres said with a laugh. “We’ll see if that works.”

Last year, a number of the plastic walls needed to be repaired each night due to people literally walking – or running – through them, trying to make it through the haunted warehouse faster.

“We have a lot of new, scary ideas,” Artibee said. “We’re allocating some of our budget toward more gore and makeup, and really enhancing it.”

Dan Krause said, being this is the second year of having the haunted house in this location, a lot of the initial expenses that were incurred last year haven’t been realized this year.

“I think it helps that it’s year two, so, budget-wise, we have a little bit more to add because we don’t have to buy all the supplies again,” he said. “We were able to use the same facility, which is a blessing, because that saves us on cost. We can just use the money that we’re saving by having the materials from last year, plus the facility, to upgrade what we did have, and therefore make it a little bit more intense and enhanced throughout.”

The Jaycees are again partnering with several Delano High School organizations for the project, including the National Honor Society and Youth As Resources.

“Some of the kids are really giving their ideas of what they think would be scary and are really enjoying helping out, setting up some of the scenes and areas,” Artibee said.

Brenda Davis of Coborn’s again painted the exterior of the building with the dates and times the haunted house will be up-and-running.

Andres’ parents, Jerome and Marie Andres, own the building, and are donating use of it to the chapter for this project.

“We really wouldn’t be able to do this without Jerome and Marie’s willingness to let us use the location,” Butterfass said.

This year, the haunted house opened Friday, and was also open Saturday night.

A full weekend is planned building up to Halloween, with the haunted warehouse being open Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30 from 4 to 9 p.m. (friendly fright night will be child-friendly from 4 to 6 p.m.), and Monday, Oct. 31 (Halloween) from 5 to 9 p.m.

“There were a few comments after last year that it would be nice to incorporate a child-friendly event,” Artibee said, adding that candy and treats will be given out to younger children who attend the friendly fright night.

“The rest of the time really is not for young children,” she added.

The haunted house was a tradition of the Delano Jaycees in the 1990s, and was revived last year.

About the Jaycees

The purpose of the Jaycees is to help with community service and also improve members’ leadership abilities and promote personal growth.

The Delano Jaycees began in April 1981. Shortly thereafter, the chapter began a community project of erecting a fence on railroad property after a train killed a local child.

This project was recognized in 1984 in Montreal, Canada, both nationally and internationally, with the New Zealand Award and the Japan Safety Award. These two awards are both from the international level.

The Delano Jaycees also provide leadership training to its members. Several members have used their leadership skills by getting involved with the community, serving on the planning commission, school board, and the city council.

Over the years, many of the past and current Delano Jaycees have been honored with the highest individual awards from the state level (Minnesota Statesman), national level (ambassadorship), and the international level (senators). The chapter’s other major project is its involvement with the Delano Fourth of July Celebration – managing the beer stand and other aspects of the festivities.

New members are always sought to become part of the chapter. Membership information and additional haunted house details can be found online by following the link from the Delano Herald Journal homepage or by contacting Nichole Krause at (763) 972-2951.

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