We're talking about some amazing teens who have become un-alive for a cause at Heartstoppers Haunted House. Three, in particular, have been at it at least three years, are highly motivated, excellent students. And they scare us to death.
Heartstoppers is our annual Haunted House that raises money which pays for some free fun activities around our city. Most people don't realize that the creepy scary zombies that haunt our houses are teen volunteers. And they are truly remarkable.
Take Maddy Cariveau, for example. She is a junior at Cordova High School and has been playing Cordova Girls Softball since she was 5. She is active in Cordova High Drama and is part of the International Baccalaureate program. She's planning to attend San Jose State, become an occupational therapist and work with autistic children.
She said the best part about Heartstoppers is working with great people and scaring the snot out of people. What has she learned as a creepy clown and voodoo sacrifice?
"Heartstoppers has taught me that my size and gender have nothing to do with my presence," she told us. "I am a 5 foot tall woman and still send guys screaming and running out of my room. It has given me confidence!"
is 17 years old, lives in Rancho Cordova and is a junior at George Washington Carver School of Arts and Sciences.
When she is not dead, she has been a swimmer for the Cordova Cordettes Synchronized Swim Team for eight years. She is on the Principal's Honor Roll and is treasurer of the Re-Teaching Technology Club. She is on the Student Council and is a foster care provider for Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation. She intends to graduate as Valedictorian of her high school class and head off to college.
Delainy has been a zombie for 10 years and has played everything from a smallpox victim to a possessed child to a graveyard dweller.
"There is never a dull moment when I'm with my zombie family,"
Lessons learned? Adults have potty accidents just as children do, and people are more than willing to throw their companions at brain eating zombies in order to save themselves. But she has also learned that love will make people do things that terrify them, like going through a haunted house because their partner wants them to.
is from Gold River, and is a 17-year old junior at Mira Loma High School. He plays golf for Mira Loma and is an International Baccalaureate student. He will be headed off to college after graduation, he said. "Past that, I have no more than broad speculation."
Trent has been haunting for 10 years, beginning at age 6! Like the girls, he loves the crew at Heartstoppers. Listen to his gruesome line-up of roles: barrel boy, jumping out of a barrel in a spooky bar; Pumpkin Smash Manager, scarecrow, unseen demon, and lunatic.
"Last season I was the head executionist at a guillotine I helped build with my Dad."
Kinda leaves you warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?
When we talk about Heartstoppers Haunted House we often focus on the good things we can do in the community with the money that is raised.
But we are missing something special if we do not listen to the contributions of fine young people like Maddy, Delainy and Trent, who give many hours of dedicated service to making it a success. We would also be guilty of being too old to understand if we did not hear the marvelous insights on life picked up while scaring us out of our wits.
These three have success written all over them. We can hardly wait to see what they do with all of this.
In other words,
You're on your way up
You'll be seeing great sights
You'll join the high fliers
Who soar to great heights.
Today is your day!
You're off to great places
You're off and away!
Great Teen Service: Thank youMaddy Cariveau, Delainy Salazar and Trent Buchanan.Thank you!