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Scaring and caring: Zombie Walk supports DARE program

October 28, 2013

Barbie Steinke, from left, Ashlyn Steinke and Melanie Robbins walk the Kids, A Priority of Wapakoneta (KAPOW) Club annual Zombie Walk on Saturday afternoon in downtown Wapakoneta. Proceeds from the walk benefit the county Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.

Resembling a scene from AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” zombies trudged down Auglaize Street in Wapakoneta looking for humans — in cars, in shops, in the street.

More than 50 zombies participated as they trekked from the Wapakoneta Middle School through the downtown and back as part of a fundraiser for the Kids, A Priority Of Wapakoneta (KAPOW) Club, which donated the proceeds to the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.

“I really wanted to do this because I’m in DARE,” 11-year-old Lance Ray said. “I’ve done it for the past three years and it is always lots of fun.”

The Wapakoneta Middle School student spent an hour getting his make-up and look just right and then had his mother take him to attend the walk because he lives on the east side of Wapakoneta.

Fourth-grader Ashlyn Steinke participated in the walk because she opted not to last year — and wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.

“Last year when we were getting ready she got jealous, especially because we were having so much fun getting ready and had fun on the walk, so she said, ‘Next year, I am going to do it,’ ” her mother, Barbie Steinke said.

Steinke came with her two sisters, Melanie Robbins and Heather Mead, and her brother-in-law, Robb Mead. They dressed up as hippies from the 1960s, while Ashlyn dressed up as a bride.

Last year, they, along with their mother, Sandy Robbins, dressed up as zombies from the Civil War.

“We did it last year and it was great fun,” Barbie Steinke said. “As a family, we do a lot of crazy things like this together.”

Ashlyn wished she had worn a coat underneath her dress as temperatures hovered in the low 40s and a brisk wind caused the wind chill to be in the 30s. She later got a coat.

“I am glad I did it because it goes for a good cause,” Ashlyn said. “We scare because we care.”

During the walk, the fun spread to two men moving a washer, who stopped and laughed as the zombies moaned, groaned and limped down East Auglaize Street as they crossed Park Street.

People in cars cowered as the zombies tapped on their vehicle windows.

Shop owners came to the doors and storefront windows to wave.

“This is fun. This is so much fun to watch,” Casa Chic co-owner Landa Tomlinson said as she and her sister and co-owner, Laura Clementz, waved as the zombies walked pass and even “attacked” their storefront. “This is neat. It brings a lot of people downtown and it is a fun activity for the downtown stores. Anything that brings people to the downtown helps the stores.”

A bride and her daughter spent time to pose in front of the Bridal Emporium.

Ken Baughman, of Wapakoneta, convinced his daughter, Vanessa, and their friends, Ammie, Emily and Destiny Comer to join him.

“I worked for years at Harold’s Haunted Cornfied so zombies are my thing,” said Baughman, who won a T-shirt for “Best Overall Male Zombie.”

Ammie Comer said she and her daughters wanted “to try something different and we wanted to support him (Baughman) because he is one of our neighbors.”

For Baughman’s daughter, the walk came down to two simple emotions.

“It’s fun and I’m loving it.”

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