Spooky Good Time: Nightmare on Main Street raises frights and funds for local nonprofits

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Denna Gundrum and Jane Barton ham it up at a past Nightmare on Main Street event in downtown Greenfield. The annual event, hosted by the We’ve Got Your Back campaign, raises money for local nonprofits. This year’s event takes place in the Bradley Hall events center Oct. 28.

GREENFIELD — Today marks the start of October, which means the Halloween season has officially begun.

Adults can start planning their costumes for a spooky soiree to be held Oct. 28 at the Bradley Hall events center in downtown Greenfield, where guests are encouraged to dress as characters from iconic horror movies from the 1920s through 1980s.

The event is hosted by the members of the We’ve Got Your Back campaign, a collaboration of local merchants and the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce, who promote shopping local while supporting local nonprofits.

This is the third year for the adults-only Halloween bash, which aims to raise $20,000 for local nonprofits each year. This year’s chosen benefactors are Meals on Wheels of Hancock County and Bentley’s Buddies and Friends, a canine-assisted literacy program for kids.

The event takes over the entire third floor of the Bradley Hall events center, which will be transformed into an elaborate haunted museum.

“It’s a fun evening where adults get to dress up in costumes and dance their hearts out,” said Sherry Haines, a We’ve Got Your Back founding member. “How often do we get to do that?”

Event organizer Denna Gundrum said guests go all out when it comes to dressing up for Nightmare on Main Street, as evidenced by pictures on the event’s Facebook page.

“This year’s theme is ‘Hollywood Horror,’ so people are encouraged to dress as characters from iconic movies from the 1920s through the ’80s,” she said.

Masks came in handy for the first Nightmare on Main Street in 2020, which drew 128 guests, while 150 people attended last year. Gundrum hopes to sell out for this year’s party, which can accommodate 165 guests.

“The night will feature a lot of cool stuff, lots of dancing and a few adult shenanigans,” she said.

In addition to a dinner catered by OnSiteCatering, the event features a wine pull, photo booth, 50/50 raffle and silent auction.

Gundrum said the whole night is focused on raising as much money as possible for local nonprofits, which are most often supported by local merchants.

“When your kid needs a sponsor for their baseball team or your nonprofit needs a donation, the big online companies don’t have that ability to help with that, but the local merchants in the community do,” said Haines, whose family has owned Miller’s Jewelry in Greenfield since 1959.

Gundrum is also a longtime local merchant, having run Penny’s Florist in Greenfield for years. Her mother started the business in 1972.

The We’ve Got Your Back campaign has a positive domino effect throughout the community, she said.

“As our local residents support local merchants, local merchants can better provide support for our local nonprofits,” she said.

Retta Livengood, president of the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Nightmare on Main Street event is a fun way to send that message home.

The “shop local” concept “is about everything from buying your next vehicle local to getting your insurance local to investing your finances local and, of course, shopping local,” she said.

“The Nightmare on Main Street event is just absolutely amazing. The decorations committee goes all out transforming the third floor at the Bradley Hall events center into a wonderfully spooky type of setting. It’s just tons of fun” she said.

Gundrum said tickets are still available for this year’s bash, which she said is fun for all who attend.

“This group always has an amazing time,” said Gundrum, referring to guests who’ve attended the past two years. “We are dancing fools.”

Tickets are $75 each. To purchase, call Denna Gundrum at (317) 509 2854.

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