f you are a fan of horror, haunted houses or donating money toward a great cause, join the Thousand Oaks community in the Janss Marketplace for a scary good night that will make a difference. The Reign of Terror Haunted House event will be on Feb. 13 from 7 – 11 p.m. to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Tri-Counties.
“If Cal Lutheran students want to support Make-A-Wish, this is how they can do it and have fun,” Heather Danko, senior marketing director at NewMark Merrill Companies and Reign of Terror business member said.
The Reign of Terror Haunted House is a nationally ranked haunted house that is held annually in October. They are teaming up with Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties to raise money to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. At least 95 percent of the proceeds will go toward Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties.
Owner and creator of the Reign of Terror, Bruce Stanton started this haunted house in his home.
“I started the Reign of Terror event out of my house in 2000. It got so large that I was forced and willingly to move the location,” Stanton said.
Now a nationally ranked haunted house, Stanton and his team use their skills for haunted houses to help various organizations in the community.
“Throughout the year we help about 25 different organizations that are directly affecting the local community,” Danko said.
“We are a nonprofit organization. Everyone that works at the haunted house is a volunteer, although I would love to pay everybody,” Stanton said.
As a nonprofit, all of the funds made at each haunted house go toward helping organizations throughout the community and making improvements to the sets.
Stanton wanted to use his passion for haunted houses to support a greater cause. Stanton and his wife were brought to tears while watching a profile piece on the Make-A-Wish Foundation on 60 Minutes and the idea emerged.
“It is just an incredible organization and we thought to ourselves, you know what, this is something we want to be involved in,” Stanton said.
The Reign of Terror is a walk-through themed haunted house featuring intricate sets, sound effects, lighting and props, all combined with live actors to give participants a true thrill. The haunted house offers more than 15,000 square feet with over 82 rooms full of pure terror.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that our sets are incredibly detailed, all the way down to the thermostats on the walls,” Stanton said. “We create an environment that is so real that you forget that you are above a Gold’s gym in the Market Place.”
Stanton and his team at the Reign of Terror hope to raise more than $18,000 for Make-A-Wish. In order to reach their goal, they need between 800 – 1,000 people to attend. If the target goal is reached, they will be able to grant three wishes for these children.
“When you come to this event, not only are you going to get a fun, great evening but almost all your money will go to these children,” Stanton said.
“Wish kids miss out on so much of their childhood due to their life-threatening medical conditions. Wishes are a way of reminding our kids that anything is possible. It gives them something to look forward to when they need it most,” Development Coordinator at Make-A-Wish Elizabeth Arellano said in an email interview.
Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties covers three counties: Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
“Our chapter [Tri-Counties] grants about 90 plus wishes a year and without events like these, we would not be able to reach so many children. Community support is crucial to our chapter, and we hope you will consider attending this incredible production to support our local wish kids,” Arellano said.
If horror and haunted houses aren’t your thing but you still want to make a contribution to these children, you can buy a ticket online and the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties.
“We need all the help we can get from the community,” Danko said.
General admission tickets will be sold for $17 online and at the door. VIP tickets, meaning less wait time in line, will be sold for $25. Tickets will be sold until 11 p.m. and the haunted house will stay open until the last participants walk through.
For more information on the event or to make a donation toward Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties, go to www.rothauntedhouse.com. If you would like to learn more about Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties visit www.tri-counties.wish.org.
Published February 10th, 2016