The scene was very scary, with graveyards, spiders that had spun
huge webs, ghosts, bats, skeletons and eerie witches. They were
everywhere, but everyone seemed to be having a great time anyway.
That’s because the occasion was Boo Blast, El Morro Elementary
School’s annual Halloween-themed PTA fund-raiser. The entire campus
is decorated with frightening effects -- skeleton foot prints, a fog
machine and scenes that exemplify the horror holiday.
“It’s my first time at Boo Blast ,” said Julia Weidig, 11. “I’m a
new student and the rides have been a lot of fun.”
The fund-raiser was a big success.
“Not all the figures are in, and we’ve netted over $15,000, which
is the best, " PTA member Kathy Dawson said. “It’s over last year --
it was good, I am very happy with that.”
It’s estimated by the PTA that between 500 and 1,000 people
attended and the Reef Point parking lot was completely full at one
time, as was the parking lot behind the school.
“It’s become a big community event,” Dawson said. “It was fun,
smooth and it went really well.”
Parent Jennifer Romero grew up in Laguna and now shares her
childhood experience with a new generation.
“My son Drew is in third grade, and Eliza is in second grade at El
Morro,” parent Jennifer Romero said. “We’re going to the haunted
“I used to go to Boo Blast -- actually I’ve been going for 25
years. I went to school here and I’m 31. I was in the fourth grade at
El Morro and it was going on then. It gets better every year,” Romero
Kids, dressed in costumes, played a lot of the games that the
school set up, such as tossing a ping pong ball into a vase to win a
goldfish, shooting hoops and throwing a ball to knock the clown over.
But the biggest attraction was the haunted house.
“It’s cool and it scares you,” said Roy Herbert, 11. “It’s fun and it gives you the creeps.”
“I like the haunted house,” said Noah Barker, 11. “It’s fun -- it
brings back good memories. I am a sixth-grader at Thurston, and it’s
fun coming back.”
Barbara Crowley, who is a parent of fifth-grader Christina
Crowley, has been in charge of the haunted house for five years. This
is her last year because her daughter will be going to Thurston. She
has made a handbook for the next person in charge.
One of Crowley’s duties is to give the scary guided tour through
the haunted house.
“This ancient manor has been closed for 100 years, and everything
is very ancient and fragile, so be careful,” Crowley said at the
beginning of the tour.
It was a dungeon-type maze that kept the kids screaming and
guessing where the next scare would come from.
Next year it will be even better, Dawson said. Renovations to the
campus and the blacktop will be complete, so the whole Blast will
take place in one area.
“This is successful because the parents are involved with it,”
principal Joanne Culverhouse said. “It’s amazing. The parent
volunteers are here weeks prior to the event and prepare a year in
advance. I think the community needs to know that it’s the volunteers
that make it happen.”
* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.