Chalmette High School Key Club held its fourth annual Boo on the Bayou Halloween event at the Los Islenos Museum Complex on October 20. The event, which has become a community favorite, attracted close to 2000 visitors for games, trick or treating, arts and crafts, a pumpkin patch, and performances by many of the parish elementary school dance and cheer squads.
“The event started off as a way to fundraise for our community service projects and it has taken off to become a family tradition for many of the residents of St. Bernard Parish,” Alison Schroeder, advisor of the CHS Key Club said. “We are so fortunate to be able to coordinate an event that brings fall fun to our parish and that also helps us to keep community service alive.”
Schroeder organizes the event with the help of co-sponsor Macy Nation and her board of club officers, including Scotty Thornton, president; Truc Hoang, vice president; Quynh Tran, secretary; An Bui, treasurer; and Christina Daza, bulletin editor.
“The kids really run this whole event, which is the most impressive thing of all,” Schroeder said. “We get comments every year about how organized it is and how polite and friendly the volunteers are and that speaks volumes about the amazing students we have at CHS.”
This year also was the second year the Key Club hosted a haunted house attraction in combination with Boo on the Bayou.
“Our Nightmare at the Museum haunted house is the only haunted house in St. Bernard Parish and we had over 700 people come through last year,” Schroeder said. “This year, our haunted house was only able to run for one night due to the rain, but we still had over 100 visitors.”
Schroeder said the haunted house is constructed by a team of volunteers led by Korey Nation.
“He does everything to make it awesome,” she said. “He enlisted help from our woodshop classes this year to construct a maze and drop walls to add to what we started with last year. I am excited to watch his visions come to life year after year and excited that we can help to offer this venue of Halloween entertainment to our parish residents so close to home.”
And while the rain kept the club from making a monetary profit this year, Schroeder said she and her students know the value of the event goes beyond that.
“We originally envisioned this as simply a way to provide community service, so while we didn’t make a monetary profit, we have certainly gained by spreading service, community, and fellowship to St. Bernard,” Schroeder said. “And there is absolutely value in that for all of us.”