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Haunted Fairground a treat for worthy causes in W. Va. Panhandle

December 10, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - It takes a month to build all the props for it and organizer Ron Nowell is proud of its extravagant nature.

In this year's Haunted Fairground, for example, volunteers built a swinging bridge for spectators to walk across and there were 3-D effects.

Every October, the Haunted Fairground is held at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds off Leetown Pike north of Charles Town and since its beginning 14 years ago, it has raised more than $85,000, Nowell said.

The money is donated to charity, and it has been used to support a local Christmas toy program for needy children, a free medical clinic, and local fire and rescue operations.

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The Haunted Fairground takes place the last three weekends in October and the event is housed in two, 100-by- 40-foot buildings at the fairgrounds, Nowell said.

Material like black plastic is used to cover the walls and lumber used to build the props, Nowell said.

About 60 volunteers help put on the event, Nowell said.

Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children.

This past October's installment of the event was the most successful, with more than $15,000 raised, Nowell said.

"I just enjoy doing this," said Nowell, a retired federal government worker.

Among the recipients of this year's money include "Santa's Toy Shop," a toy giveaway program for needy kids sponsored by The Charles Town Kiwanis Club.

The toy program received $3,500 from this year's proceeds.

Jefferson County Community Ministries Food Pantry received $3,500, the Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic received $3,000 and Jefferson County Fire and Rescue received $3,000, according to Nowell.

Nowell said $2,000 also will be donated to the fairgrounds.

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