Haunted house earns money for charity

Story by Courtney Roszak, Freelancer

The Eau Claire County 4-H Youth Development Club raised  more than $1,000 after putting on a haunted house at the Rockin’ T-R Ranch this past weekend.

Proceeds, which included money and canned goods, were donated to the Pleasant Hills Go Getters 4-H Club and the Eau Claire County 4-H Older Council Club.

Years prior to the haunted house, 4-H member Jake Henning said he put on a haunted trail at his house during a Halloween party. Last year, his friend and fellow 4-H member Morgan Thesing-Ritter, wanted to convert her family’s barn into a haunted house. After a successful test run in October 2012, they decided to make it open to the public this year.

“This year we opened it up to the public and got our 4-H clubs involved as help and in return we will split the profits,” Jake said.

The haunted house was a completely youth-run project. Those who assisted in the house organized the entire project, created a layout, gained publicity, purchased materials and built the
haunted house.

“The haunted house is a perfect example of the leadership skills that kids gain from 4-H,” Associate Dean of Students Jodi Thesing-Ritter said. It was her barn in which the haunted house was run.

Jake, Max Henning, Miranda Thesing-Ritter and Morgan were the major contributors toward this project.

They got the word out to the public and presented it to their 4-H clubs and councils to gain their support. Two days before Friday, Oct. 25, volunteers assisted in transforming the barn into a
haunted house.

This school year, Miranda is doing an agricultural independent study and one of her projects is to learn more about food insecurity. She has been working on hunger reduction projects and had also pitched the idea to the committee about having a food donation at the haunted house.

The group agreed it would be a good idea and decided all collected food items would be donated to the Feed My People Food Bank.

“I was so happy to see so many people come out to support us and bring canned food to help support our food drive,” Miranda said.

Morgan said she thinks all of the work they put in, along with the involvement of 4-H made a very good fundraiser.

“This haunted house project is just one example of how you can learn and grow through 4-H.”