Indiana Daily Student

Delta Chi to put on haunted house for charity

For the past nine years, Tom Atkinson, who is also a university employee, has been building and organizing haunted houses to raise money for Bloomington's Crestmont Boys and Girls Club. \nThis year Atkinson will be joining forces with the men of Delta Chi, who also put on a haunted house annually and donate their proceeds to Crestmont. The new alliance is aimed to lower costs and raise more money. Atkinson said he hopes to raise more than $5,000 from the haunted house, which will run tonight through Saturday and again Monday.\nAtkinson said he hopes to make this a long-lasting partnership.\n"We are trying to put the two forces together and make it better and share the work," Atkinson said. "They have the manpower, and I have the experience."\nFor the past week, Atkinson and the men of Delta Chi have been working to transform the fraternity into a haunted house. \n"There will be a maze throughout the entire house," Atkinson said. "There will be several scenes from the movie 'Hellraiser' and graveyard scenes. We will use different lightings and fog."\nBut Atkinson said there have been some problems in combining resources.\n"It has had growing pains trying to incorporate what they have done and what I have done," Atkinson said. "They are an interesting bunch of guys, but they have to see enough of the house to buy into it."\nJunior Kurt Caldwell, Delta Chi's philanthropy chair, agrees with Atkinson.\n"It's been hard this week," Caldwell said. "Some of the guys are not happy when there is a tarp draped in front of their door. But once things get going and people are lining up outside, the guys will be excited."\nCaldwell said the haunted house will be different from the ones other fraternities are putting on because it will have more interaction with the crowd. \nMarie Fink, a Bloomington resident, said she is excited about the haunted houses.\n"I think it's great Delta Chi is trying something unique," Fink said. "My friends and I go to the fraternity haunted houses every year, and this will be a nice surprise to see something different."\nCaldwell said people will be surprised by the haunted house.\n"It's all about uncertainty and fear," Caldwell said. "We will be throwing people's perceptions off."\nAtkinson said the money from the haunted houses will help keep Cresmont open. \nThe Cresmont Club is a part of the National Boys and Girls Club and Atkinson has been its director for the past 10 and-a-half years.\n"We work with at-risk kids," Atkinson said. "We serve section eight housing, which is low income housing subsidized by the government."\nThe club started in 1989 as a boy's club to get Cresmont kids more involved.\n"We motivate the kids and get them off the streets," Atkinson said. "We have come a long way. The number of kids on probation has gone down. We are seeing kids graduate again."\nHe said Halloween has always been a holiday his wife has enjoyed, and that helped motivate him to do the haunted houses. In the beginning, the club participated in trick or treating, and then moved on to haunted houses. \n"The first haunted house I did was actually in the subsidized houses," Atkinson said.\nSince then he has built them in warehouses and outdoor outlets. In the past Atkinson said he had trouble marketing his haunted houses. He said many people thought the kids were in charge and did not attend the event. This year the fraternity is in charge of marketing.

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