Zombies strike again: KAPOW Club hosts walk to benefit local kids

Zombies once again invaded downtown Wapakoneta this past weekend.
The KAPOW (Kids A Priority of Wapakoneta) Club hosted their second “DARE To Be A Zombie Walk” on Saturday, with all the proceeds benefitting the Auglaize County DARE Program.
Approximately 70 creatively dressed zombies of all ages roamed around downtown Wapakoneta to haunted music, playing on the downtown sound system, as spectators watched and took pictures.
Several hours and days, were put into a few of the participants’ costumes, as they have been preparing their wardrobe for as long as a week in advance for this special event.
“We had to make the shirts in advance,” Wapakoneta High School freshman Mackenzie Kaverman said. “We used Karo syrup, red food coloring and fabric paint.”
The ingredients were carefully put on her shirt to give a “stiff” and “bloody” look, along with cutting holes in the old t-shirt she had used.
Mackenzie’s brother, Reed, said that he cut holes in his pants and also cut holes in his shirt to create his zombie attire.
“I cut off my sleeve and dipped my shirt in blood,” Reed said.
While it was fake blood that the 12-year-old used, he also used for his face paint. Reed, along with his family, attended the event, and said they started getting ready early in the afternoon for the 5:30 p.m. walk.
This was Reed’s second year attending the event, and he gave a simple reason why he decided to come back.
“It’s just fun,” Reed said, at the event on Saturday.
Sisters Haylee and Megan Bryars also agreed.
“It was super fun,” Megan said. “I also did this last year.”
This was Haylee’s first year attending with friends, and she said her favorite part was seeing everyone’s outfits.
“Everyone looks so different,” the 14-year-old said. “It took us about 30 minutes to get ready.”
The girls used red-and-black face paint, and Megan wore her Dorothy costume, from the movie The Wizard of Oz, with a zombie-like look.
“I was Dorothy for Halloween and I thought I would be her for the zombie walk, too,” the 12-year-old said.
KAPOW President Mark Selvaggio was pleased with the turnout and said it was approximately the same amount of people as last year’s event.
“We host this because we had so much fun the first year,” Selvaggio said. “All of the money goes to DARE. It’s a good cause.
“We think it is important that the kids say no to drugs and alcohol and learn about decision making and peer pressure at an early age,” he said. “With all of the budget cuts, we don’t want to lose this program.”
Selvaggio said that everyone seemed to have a good time at the event and the whole purpose of the KAPOW Club is to help the local kids in the community.
He said he also would like to thank the Wapakoneta Police Department and Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the safety of the participants during the event.
Auglaize County DARE Officer Sam Blank led the zombies on their walk on Saturday and said that all of the money raised from the walk will go toward expenses for the DARE program.
“All of the money will go to the DARE Council,” Blank said. “They do different civic programs in the Wapakoneta City Schools and help to educate the kids.”
The DARE Council is comprised of sixth- and seventh-graders that have an interest in continuing and supporting the DARE program. They perform skits at the Wapakoneta and Cridersville elementary schools to teach the students about a drug-free lifestyle and the money raised will be used for their transportation, supplies and props.
“I think it’s a very creative idea to raise money,” Blank said of the walk. “I am really appreciative that they support DARE.”