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Shuswap neighbours rally behind ‘Halloween House’ fundraiser

Gerd Willenberg grateful for support of Blind Bay neighbours, local businesses
Volunteers helped Gerd Willenberg welcome visitors to his Halloween House fundraiser from Oct. 15 to 31. More than $5,000 was raised for the Shuswap Children’s Association. (Contributed)

Though there may have been nightmares on Waverly Drive Halloween night, Gerd Willenberg had reason to sleep well.

From Oct. 15 to 31, Willenberg welcomed his Blind Bay neighbours and the Shuswap to his decorated “Halloween House” at 2490 Waverly. There, they could take in the scares, enjoy a sausage in a bun and help support the Shuswap Children’s Association.

Over the 17 evenings, Willenberg counted 1,260 visitors, with the majority – more than 400, showing up on Halloween. He noted a lot of visitors took in the Halloween House experience multiple times.

As of Nov. 1, Willenberg had raised $5,285, which he has given to the Shuswap Children’s Association.

Willenberg acknowledged he had a lot of support with the fundraiser, including Marie Anne Sauriol, who welcomed visitors to the Halloween House, Rocana Meats, which provided the sausage, Salmon Arm NorthStar Scaffold Systems Inc., which donated scaffolding for the Halloween House tunnel, and a lot of friends and neighbours, including local youth, who were keen to volunteer their time.

“It really brought the community together and a lot of people ended up meeting through the Halloween House,” said Sauriol.

Asked why he goes to the great lengths involved in putting Halloween House together, Willenberg said he likes to bring joy and happiness to people while collecting donations for a good cause.

Read more: Return to Halloween House: Shuswap resident excited to raise spirits and funds for worthy cause
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Things that bump in the night greeted visitors in the tunnel at Gerd Willenberg’s Halloween House. (Contributed)
Blind Bay resident Gerd Willenberg is grateful to everyone who supported his Halloween House, which raised more than $5,000 for the Shuswap Children’s Association. (Contributed)