ACCESS (Adapting and Changing Children’s Environments with Successful Solutions), a locally founded non-profit fund of the Northshore Community Foundation that supports children with disabilities and their families, has announced its 10th annual Boo Fest will be held on the grounds of Lakeview Regional Medical Center on Saturday, October 26th from 10:00am to 3:00pm – with early admission starting at 9:00am for families of children with disabilities. This popular, all-abilities, Halloween event features trick or treating, games, arts and crafts, and tons of other entertainment including sing-alongs, a dance party, photo booth and costume contest. In addition, attendees can meet grant recipient families and see how contributions to ACCESS directly support these families who have a child with a disability. “This inclusive event gives every child, including those with disabilities such as mobility impairment or sensory issues, an opportunity to have some serious Halloween fun!” said ACCESS Vice-Chairman and event Co-Chair LeaAnne Krieger. “We feel that every parent, too, should have a chance to see their child experience the events in life that many of us take for granted.” All proceeds from Boo Fest benefit children with disabilities and their families but is open to children of all abilities. The gates open for early admission for special needs families at 9:00am, followed by general admission for the entire community at 10:00am. Admission is only $2 per person.

“We are grateful for the immense community support and participation at Boo Fest we have had through the years. Last year we had nearly 10,000 guests attend,” said Dr. Aaron Karlin, ACCESS Chairman. “This event provides more than just a fun day for kids, it also teaches acceptance and empathy, by creating an opportunity for children who don’t face daily challenges to connect with children who do.” The wheelchair accessible walking path around the duck ponds and green space adjacent to Lakeview Regional Medical Center allow children of all abilities to travel house-to-house collecting Halloween treats. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costume and take part in the annual Boo Fest costume contest competing for the titles of “Cutest”, “Scariest,” “Most Original,” or “Best Group” – a highlight for many attendees.

Local businesses and members of the community may get involved in Boo Fest by sponsoring a trick-or-treat house or castle. Each sponsor will receive and then decorate a 5-foot tall cardboard “gingerbread-style” house or castle from which they will also hand out candy and other giveaways. Cash prizes will be awarded to winning trick-or-treat houses in the “Most Original,” “Scariest,” and “Kid’s Choice” categories. Placement of the houses and castles will be in one of Boo Fest’s six Halloween-themed “neighborhoods” in addition to other locations along the walking path. Businesses are asked to provide their own candy and non-edible treats for distribution. Varying levels of Boo Fest sponsorships are available to area businesses/families interested in participating: Great Pumpkin ($5,000), Boo Town ($2,500), Haunted Mansion ($1,000), Haunted Castle ($500), or Haunted House ($250). Sponsorship forms can be completed online or downloaded from the ACCESS website or on ACCESS's Facebook.

100 percent of the proceeds raised from Boo Fest provide support to families who have a child with a disability in four key areas—financial grants, care giver education, an equipment exchange program, and peer support. Since its inception in ay 2010, ACCESS has provided over $200,000 in financial assistance to local families in need with purchases including wheelchairs, adaptive bicycles, augmentative communication devices, and home modifications among other items of medical necessity. For more information about ACCESS or for Boo Fest sponsorships, visit the ACCESS website. Want to win a FitBit? Let us know you are coming by registering online or by calling (985) 867-3900. Winner will be announced during the event.

About Access

Adapting and Changing Children’s Environments with Successful Solutions. ACCESS is a fund of the Northshore Community Foundation, an organization described by I.R.C. Section 501(c)(3) as a nonprofit organization that is exempt from federal income tax and to which contributions may be tax deductible in whole or in part as a charitable contribution. The federal tax identification number is 61-1517784. For more information about ACCESS, call (985) 718-7532.