Haunted holidays came early for Wilshire Park neighbors

| September 30, 2020 | 0 Comments

SPOOKY TREATS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING. Wilshire Park Association Treasurer Roberta O’Donnell, dressed as “Mrs. See,” with her son and “candy butcher” Jeremy Shaw, are at right. John and Eileen Milos are at left.

Halloween came early this year to Wilshire Park.

In lieu of its annual Halloween Haunt, the neighborhood kicked off the season with an “in-your-own-front-yard” picnic and a scavenger hunt.

And residents opened a ghoulish storefront, d’See’s, as in “deceased,” said Wilshire Park Association (WPA) board member Lorna Hennington.

WPA Treasurer Roberta O’Donnell researched the history of Mrs. See and her chocolate empire (the first shop was at 135 N. Western) to mimic the store’s iconic black-and-white decor.

As for her outfit, “I just threw together the classic Mary See high-collar shirt and shawl with a plain black skirt. The wig was from Amazon.”

Onlookers could peer behind the glass display case — O’Donnell found it dumpster-diving — to see an assortment of ghoulish delights including bugs and frogs made of Styrofoam and brown caulk.

See’s chocolates

While the haunted candy shop has closed, the Association has launched a fundraising drive selling See’s boxes of assorted chocolates, nuts and chews and other favorites.

“See’s Candies has several fundraising programs,” including “the one we chose called Yumraising,” said O’Donnell.

“The advantages are several: no door-to-door required, no face-to-face contact in these dangerous times, no front-yard stands, and See’s deals with the shipping and order fulfillment.”

It wasn’t clear if the d’See’s shop will open again for the haunted holidays. But boxes of See’s chocolates can be purchased on the Association website, wilshirepark.org.

SCAVENGER HUNT first place winner, Blue Kurosaki.
Photo by Felice Pappas

Sept. 6 events

The picnic, scavenger hunt and haunted storefront took place on Sept. 6, one of the hottest days on record for Los Angeles. “But the neighbors soldiered on and socially distanced,” Hennington told us.

LAPD Senior Lead Officer Harry Cho, of Olympic Division, handed out colorful masks, and the scavenger hunt was a great success, she added.

“Many kids participated [in the scavenger hunt] with the aid of their parents, who drove some of them around the neighborhood.”

Parents hid treasures, and the kids were given a list in advance to help them locate their finds.

The winners — Blue Kurosaki won first place, and John Bruns and Ward McLean tied for second — received gift certificates for lots of ice cream from a shop on Larchmont.

SENIOR LEAD OFFICER Harry Cho with Vinny D’Annunzio, left, and Azalita Bruns, right.
Photos by Lorna Hennington

In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, neighborhood associations are doing all they can to continue on their missions and to keep their neighbors connected, said Hennington.

The WPA, through its website and email newsletters, is checking in to make sure residents have what they need, especially the elderly neighbors.  And they are continuing on with community activities and fundraising.

The WPA’s annual Halloween Haunt, which would have been celebrating its 11th year in 2020, is expected to return in 2021.

For more information visit wilshirepark.org.

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Category: Entertainment

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