Zombie Apocalypse to aid local food bank

Rayann Menard (left) and Eva Scrimshaw pose with a little food and a lot of brains during last year’s Zombie Apocalypse at the Morinville Zoo. The undead duo is teaming up again this year in aid of the Morinville Food Bank Society. – The Morinville News File Photo

By Stephen Dafoe

Take a love of the Walking Dead and a love of helping a good cause and you have the making for another Zombie Apocalypse, set to take place Nov. 17 at the Morinville Zoo.

After a highly successful inaugural year that raised $600 for the Morinville Food Bank Society, organizers Eva Scrimshaw and Rayann Menard are back to eat a few brains in the hopes those in need will be able to eat a little food.

Keeper of the BRAINS, Rayann Menard, said the purpose of the event is twofold. “We’re community-minded girls and we want to support our local food bank, and the second reason is Morinville’s a young town with young families, and the zombie genre is popular with our age group,” she said.

Eva Scrimshaw, co-organizer of the event, agrees. “Everyone we know watches The Walking Dead,” she said, adding the event is a fun way for people to let their hair down.

Opportunities to participate in the Zombie Apocalypse, which involves dressing up as a brain-eating zombie and dancing the night away, can be had for the price of a $10 ticket.

Food Bank donations will also be accepted at the bar that night. A box will once again be located inside for ghoulish giving. They are hoping to double last year’s cash and food take.

Friends for many years, Scrimshaw and Menard are both fans of the zombie genre and feel it is a perfect fit for a food bank fundraiser.

The Zoo has donated the venue for the evening once again to host the annual event. “Krista has been a great help by giving us the venue so we don’t have to pay for extra expenses,” Scrimshaw said, adding it has allowed her and Menard to focus just on the fundraiser itself. “We really appreciate The Zoo for letting us use their venue.”

Helping those less fortunate is at the heart of the entertaining event; however, half the fun is getting dressed up like someone who has died and come back with an appetite for human flesh and the all-too delicious human brains.

Apart from the philanthropy and role-playing, there is a good bit of adult make-believe involved. “It’s the idea of survival, having to survive with nothing, and starting a new society,” Menard said of her generation’s love of all things zombie.

The duo often plays zombie-related games with friends, one where each tells what they would do in the case of a zombie apocalypse. “We’ll just sit and go in circles, picking who we would bring with us, what they would need,” Scrimshaw said, adding their top choice in each iteration of the game is Menard’s father, a soldier with 20 year’s experience in armed combat. Apart from the military expert, Scrimshaw said she’d fetch along a crossbow and a big sword should zombies rise from the dead.

Telling the women zombies and zombie apocalypses only exist in AMC television series and classic George Romero movies does little good. For Scrimshaw and Menard the potential for zombies are every bit as real as the potential for people to go hungry without the support of the Morinville Food Bank Society, a helpful refuge for those in need the two women want to help.

In the spring, the duo are taking their love of zombies to the streets of Morinville with their first Zombie Walk, an opportunity for participants to do a little walking dressed as the walking dead. Whether that event is a fundraiser or simply a fun evening of ghoulishness remains to be seen. In the mean time the Apocalypse hits The Zoo Nov. 17. The duo chose a post-Halloween date because, as they are quick to point out, a Zombie Apocalypse could hit at any time.

Nov. 17 is the date to mark on the calendar. Ticket numbers are limited to 100. The event begins at 9 p.m. at the Morinville Zoo. Tickets are available at The Zoo or by calling Eva Scrimshaw at 780-399-1544.

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