McLellan Ave. neighbours scaring up donations for mission



By Ron Giofu


A pair of McLellan Ave. neighbours are getting ready for Halloween and plan on scaring up donations for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

Ken Grant has decorated the front yard of his home at 440 McLellan with a haunted schoolhouse theme complete with pillars, smoke machines, skeletons, a classroom and more. Heather and Derek Shank, who live across the street at 437 McLellan, have a front yard that now resembles a cemetery in time for Oct. 31.

The Grant and Shank families have decorated the front lawns of their McLellan Ave. homes and will also be teaming with the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission to collect canned goods and non-perishable items during Halloween. From left: Ken Grant, Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister and Heather Shank.

With so many children trick-or-treating in the area every Halloween – Grant estimates at least 350 came along the street last year – the neighbours decided to also collect canned goods and other non-perishable items for the mission.

Grant said he started working on his display in April and did “a little bit at a time,” adding he still plans on doing more before Halloween. Most items are handmade with exception of a few store-bought items and other materials he fished out of other people’s trash.

“I get more excitement making these things than buying all the props,” he said.

Noting he is already planning ahead, Grant pointed out he plans on creating a torture chamber in 2018 and a wedding chapel in 2019.

“It’s fun. I do it because I enjoy it,” he said, noting he gets compliments from neighbours. “It makes me feel good.”

The front yard of Heather and Derek Shank is decked out for Halloween.

Heather Shank agreed that it is an enjoyable hobby, adding that they start their display in September. She joked that new neighbours must wonder what is going on but those who have been in the Kingsbridge South neighbourhood for a while “expect our craziness.”

Shank pointed out they usually have their displays on every night but Grant noted the displays likely won’t be fully complete until seven to ten days before Halloween. They even have school buses slowing down so drivers can show students their houses.

The Grant house features a haunted schoolhouse scene, including a classroom.

“Apparently, we are doing bus tours,” Shank quipped.

Neither have a firm number on how much they spend, but Grant estimates it’s likely close to $1,000 with Shank saying their display has also seen its cost accumulate.

“You don’t add it up because you don’t want to know,” Shank said with a laugh, adding they have a shed in their backyard just for Halloween decorations.

People can swing by early and donate to the mission if they wish, as Grant noted a crate will be part of his Halloween display and that is where donations can be deposited.

The Halloween displays on McLellan Ave. also includes directional signage.

“I’m thankful they chose the mission,” said president Tim McAllister. “We really need some cans at this time. We are really appreciative.”

McAllister pointed out the supply of cans and non-perishable items is low right now and “this will give us a boost.” He added that the mission is appreciative every time someone thinks of them.


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