HIGH SPRINGS – From the Monster Mash to Jingle Bells, from the walking dead to Santa Claus. How did a Haunted House in October bring gifts to children in December? It was done through the High Springs Lions Club's (HSLC) Madness and Mayhem 2 Haunted House and Graveyard held this past October, the largest fundraising event held in the history of the club.

The High Springs Lions Club had never before attempted a feat of such magnitude. It took the cooperation from the Lions, a few civic-minded local businesses and other volunteers from the community to pull it off. Over 60 volunteers devoted hundreds of hours planning, meeting, rehearsing and working event nights for one of the scariest haunts in Florida. All of this was done for a good cause.

Recipients of the funds raised from the HSLC Madness and Mayhem 2 Haunted House and Graveyard were discussed and decided at one of the earliest committee meetings. For the past four years, the HSLC had provided underprivileged children with Christmas presents. This year, they wanted to continue the tradition. So, The Catholic Charities Community Outreach Christmas Wishes was one of the charities chosen.   The same as the preceding years, Catholic Charities chose the children and provided the HSLC Lions with their gender, age, and Christmas wish list. Names of the children remained anonymous.

A budget of $40 was spent on each child. Members of the Lions club volunteered many hours of their time shopping to fulfill the children's Christmas wishes. Lions Phil and Stephenie Griffith took on the shopping for a family of nine children.

“I spent three hours at Toys R Us and had a lot of fun choosing gifts for the children,” he said.

Lion Mark Moomaw’s wife, Amy, and their daughter Alyssa, bought gifts for 16 of the 38 children on the Catholic Charities list.  

“They spent two days shopping for all those children,” Mark said.

The High Springs Lions Club’ Madness and Mayhem was an incredibly successful fundraiser and will continue as an annual event to help provide great things, such as Christmas gifts to needy children, for their local community.

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