Byline: Kaylea Berry/Reporter
DEWAR, Oklahoma – The Dewar Indian Community Center put on a “Three Nights of Terror” event on Oct. 22nd, 29th and 30th. The event was open to the public and consisted of a haunted house, game booths, face painting, cake walk, chili contest, and costume contests. There were prizes for the contests as well.
As it grew, the haunted house evolved from a private citizens’ garage to the Dewar Indian Community Center. The center has been putting the Halloween event on for years now. However, this is their first year having it after the pandemic.
“Covid kind of hit us, and we weren’t able to do anything for a couple of years, but now we’re back, and hopefully it’s bigger and better every year,” said Jenny Hunnicutt, Dewar Indian Community Center Vice Chairman. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it when you get those screams and those big scares.”
The center created an activity fund a couple of years ago and used money from that to pay expenses related to the Halloween events.
Shane Holuby, Dewar Indian Community Center chairman, said, “We started buying the props off of people for $100 or $150, then people just started donating to us so we could put it on for the whole community.”
Over 860 people attended the events. The haunted house was open all three nights and only cost $5 a person. The carnival was available on the 30th and was free. Any money collected goes back into the community’s activity fund.
The Indian Community and Dewar Community Volunteers worked together to put the haunted house and indoor activities.
“We have roughly 25 people working the haunted house, including Dewar Indian Community members, spouses, and members of the Dewar Community,” said Hunnicutt. “They’re die-hards, they’re here, and they enjoy it.”
There were also about 16 individuals that helped with the booths inside. Preparation for the haunted house starts about three months in advance. Volunteers start by donating a few hours on the weekends. A weekday may be needed to complete everything in time as Halloween gets closer.
Their hard work pays off with positive comments and reactions from the community.
“It brings everybody together, and we enjoy making people laugh and something to talk about,” said Holuby. “It shows that as a community, all community centers are important, and we have a lot of potential if we put our minds to it.”
The center plans on participating and competing in upcoming Christmas parades in the local area. The Dewar Indian Community Center meets on the third Monday of every month at 6:00 p.m.
Indian community centers are a great way to stay informed about events and news, build relationships, and give back. The Community Research and Development program can verify centers’ boundaries and which one a Mvskoke citizen belongs to based on their address. For more information about the Community Research and Development Program, please call 918-732-7963.