TOLEDO, Ohio — Two local families are using their Halloween decorations to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Their spooky homes are part of a nationwide effort to raise $150,000 dollars for Skeletons for St. Jude.
The best way to describe it, spooky for a cause. The two must see locations for Toledo are 2033 Strathmoore Avenue and 1742 Wildwood Road. Both home owners are working hard by putting their all into their Halloween decorations by raising funds through raising some fears.
The Bowen's live at 1742 Wildwood and are known for their décor. The entire property, from east to west, top to bottom, windows to walkway are completely covered. To top it all off, they even have a radio station synced up with the lights.
"I just want people to have fun with Halloween. I don't want Halloween to die, because people have been talking about how there's less decorations, there's less people participating, there's less kids going around the yards and trick-or-treating. "
The good news is, you definitely can't say less of anything with this home. Nicole Bowen said, with her daughter Jade's help, they've been decorating her home for the last 20 years. While it started off small, it has grown to the large display of today.
"As they started to produce these huge things. They're kind of addictive and then a couple of years ago, I hooked up with St. Jude and now we do all this pretty much for St. Jude," Bowen said.
In front of both homes there is a St. Jude's sign with a QR Code. There, visitors can use their phones to donate however much they can.
The Kurtz, at 2033 Strathmoore Avenue, agree it was the fun of the season they decorated their home for the last 5 years. But, now they decorate for St. Jude.
"Yeah first year, our goal was actually $100,000. We're actually a little over $130,000 now," Markie Kurtz said.
She admits, she and her husband, Bradley Kurtz, are in cahoots for the decorations. If anything, she says he's the muscle while she's the creative genius for how large the display has gotten.
"We just enjoy the Halloween season and we just kind of wanna bring it back to life. You know when we were younger it was something we really enjoyed and doing all the haunted houses and going around to all the different spooky yards," Bradley Kurtz said.
Overall, both homes get mostly positive reactions. Though, admittedly, Strathmoore Avenue is more scary than spooky.
"We get a lot of 'Wow that's cool!' A lot of 'I don't want no part of it.' We got sometimes a competition on how many people we can scare and run out of the area. It's a good time," Bradley Kurtz said.
Both families agree the awesome Halloween decorations are all in good fun.
"I think my favorite part has to be the big spider that we put up," Jade Bowen said.
"He's probably also the worst one we put up. He's also cool to put up though because after we're done putting him up he just sells the whole area of the pond," Nicole Bowen said.
In addition to the QR Code, the Skeletons for St. Jude encourages selfies to help raise funds as well. For more information, click here.