Movie monsters have nothing on volunteers

Published 10:50 pm Saturday, October 11, 2008

Boris Karloff. Lon Chaney. Bela Lugosi. Mike Caldwell?

Ok, maybe I’m nowhere near being in that league but it isn’t for lack of trying every Friday and Saturday night in October.

It is those Hollywood monster movie legends that inspire me as I try to summon my spooky spirit and dish out some frightful fun, joining dozens of other volunteers who try to put the “Haunted” with the “Tunnel” as part of the Lions Club’s annual fundraiser.

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The makeup goes on. The bulky costumes and smothering latex masks are donned. The voice fades after a few hours of growling and howling in character.

It is hot work. It is hard work. But it sure is a fun job.

You couldn’t ask for a better reward than a symphony of screams, giggles and under the breath expletives.

Nothing quite says “job well done” like seeing someone hightail it out of the former State Route 75 highway tunnel.

Of all the civic projects or community service endeavors I have been involved in, volunteering at the Haunted Tunnel might just be the most rewarding.

But the joy doesn’t just come from knowing you served up some good scares.

No, the real satisfaction comes from knowing how each and every dollar raised will be spent, from listening to emotion in the voice of someone who is visually impaired when they talk about how important a service dog the club sponsored is to their lives.

In addition to a myriad of programs to help those who are vision impaired, the Lions continue to put thousands of dollars right back into the Lawrence County charities, food banks and other community-driven programs.

Making a difference in someone’s life is the sweetest reward and makes the hard work and sore muscles fade into memory.

Want to be a part of it? It’s easy. Come visit us at the tunnel every Friday and Saturday this month until Halloween. We will be there, right across from the Ironton Hills, from 7 to 11 p.m.

Your $5 donation will get you scared and help others all at the same time.

While my fellow Lions members, GWRA motorcycle group volunteers and Ohio University Southern students and other volunteers may never make it on the silver screen like the bad guys in those monster movies where the good guys always win, we should all be able to look in the mirror and feel like stars.