Get your spook on for a cause

A scene from last years’ Monster Bash.

The third annual Monster Bash will be held on Oct. 26 at Charlotte’s Old Lantern.  All proceeds from this ghoulishly elegant event go to the Mahana Magic Foundation, a foundation supporting children whose parent has cancer. The Monster Bash is the Foundation’s signature fundraiser and the event has raised over $80,000 in the past two years. Last year the event sold out with over 400 guests attending and it is expected to sell out again this year.

The Old Lantern is the ideal setting for this one-of-a-kind adult Halloween party. Lisa Goujac, owner of the Old Lantern, “is amazed at the transformation that takes place of the interior. It is such a fun party,” she said. Goujac kindly donates the space free of charge for the night. The exterior is transformed into a mysterious graveyard and a large tent is turned into a haunted house. Charlotte resident Monica Marshall, who has created the haunted house the past few years, promises it to be just as scary. She has been working on the theme for months and has gathered a small team of volunteers to make her vision come to life. Although many costume clad partygoers wandered through the haunted house before entering the actual party last year, it is not requirement.

This year Mahana Magic has added something new. On Thursday night, Oct. 25, the haunted house will be open to children and families the Foundation has helped, Charlotte Central School (CCS) families, and Christ the King families free of charge. There is a strong affiliation to Christ the King, since the late Greg Couture, founder of Mahana Magic, had children who attended the school during their time of need. Families of CCS have been invited for the Foundation to show its appreciation to the town. A storyteller, pumpkin carving, and free pizza round out the event. Polly Harris of the Charlotte Berry Farm will donate some of her pumpkins to the event. “It is such a good cause and I’m happy to do it,” she explains. Jill Spell, also of Charlotte, will be donating pizzas from her restaurant La Villa located in Shelburne. The event is free and runs from 5-7 pm.

The Mahana Magic Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to offer support to a child who is dealing with the fear and uncertainty of having a parent with cancer. The money raised by the Monster Bash helps pay for a child life specialist, Ali Waltien, who was hired by the Foundation and provides her with the tools needed to connect with families and children. According to Waltien, the money supplies her “with books and resources to give to children and families that talk about cancer related issues. It buys educational supplies so that I can work with children to help them understand what cancer is and answer any questions they may have about what their caregiver is going through. It provides me with tools for therapeutic activities aimed at helping a child build important coping strategies through play. These activities help children remain children despite the stressors that are occurring in their lives and can help to normalize the hospital environment. It also helps fund supplies for the various support groups we have for children affected by the cancer of an adult caregiver,” concluded Waltien. Since May of 2011, Waltien has been able to help 107 families.

Last year the Monster Bash sold out within days of the event and raised more than $50,000.  Committee chairs are hoping that it will be as successful this year. Every year the Old Lantern has been transformed into a ghoulishly elegant lair where partygoers get there spook on and have a great time while supporting a tremendous cause. More than 200 guests have already registered for the event with eight days remaining. Tickets for the event are $55 and can be purchased online. For more information on the Monster Bash or the Mahana Magic Foundation, visit www.mahanamagic.org.

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