Haunted Hayride fosters community spirit

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l-r: Northfield High School Student Volunteer Cole Ryan, Core Committee member Casey Robbins, Committee Chair Heidi Passalacqua, Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider and Norwich Director of Residential Life Ara Banks.

Heidi Passalacaqua, chair of the "Haunted Hayride" Committee, presented a check for $2,500 to Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider on February 19. Designated towards a Norwich University Community Service Scholarship, the money will benefit a deserving Norwich student with demonstrated financial need.

For each of the past six years, the "Haunted Hayride" has been a howling success. Held over four ghostly nights in late October, the event regularly draws up to 4,000 intrepid souls, some from as far away as mid-New Hampshire.

Twelve months of planning by a 14-member committee, and countless hours donated by more than two hundred volunteers - nearly half of them Norwich students - contributes to the overall success of the event, which gets bigger and better every year. Even with the cancellation of Saturday's rides due to heavy rain, the fundraiser netted $7,500 to benefit Norwich Community Service Scholarships, the Northfield Girls and Boy's Club, and Northfield High School's Project Graduation.

community spirit....Passalacqua, a Northfield resident who has spearheaded the effort each of the past five years, commented on how the event has evolved into being far more than just a fall fundraiser.

"The event draws the whole community together, and fosters a positive relationship between the University and the town. It shows that when we work together, good things happen," said Passalacqua.

dweggler@norwich.edu, February 2004

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