WILLIAMSBURG — Scares That Care Charity Weekend will be hosting its eighth charity fundraiser in Williamsburg July 29-31.
Scares That Care is a horror convention featuring guests ranging from authors who have book signings available, to musicians performing concerts, to movie actors offering meet and greets.
Some of the featured guests include Henry Thomas (E.T. actor), Stephan Graham Jones (author of My Chainsaw Heart), and music performances by Aurelio Voltaire and Karnevil.
In addition to the highlighted and featured guests, there will be a variety of activities for convention-goers to participate in, including a vendor hall, board game room, video game room, scaryoke, trick-or-treating, panels and Q&A’s, and more.
“You know, when people hear ‘horror,’ you know the first image that pops in your mind is chainsaws and blood and guts and all kinds of spooky stuff, and that’s part of it,” Joe Ripple, founder of Scares That Care, said in an interview with WYDaily. “But what I like to explain to people is there are many people who enjoy going on roller coasters, you know it’s going up this big hill and it’s real slow and it’s real loud, clackity, and things like that. Your adrenaline starts to build up. And then when it goes over that hill you let out a big huge scream and all that adrenaline is then released. That’s the same for us only we do it in a darkened movie theater.”
For Ripple, a former Baltimore County Police Department detective, the inspiration to start the Scares That Care Charity Weekend was rooted in. tragedy.
“It was kind of a dual-lane pathway if you will. I was a police detective with the Baltimore County Police Department at the same time I was doing that off-duty I was also the head of a major east coast horror convention security team,” he explained. “And while I was in the police department my partner’s daughter, who was 3 at the time, contracted an inoperable brain tumor and she passed away when she was 4 years old.
“I started doing some research — ‘Well what can I do to kind of help families that are going through what my partner just went through?,'” he continued. “I started looking at the horror community or the people who like all things spooky. And I realized that at the time they didn’t have anything that they could call their own charity with which they could donate back. And I put two and two together and Scares That Care was born.”
While the convention is about fun and games, Ripple’s goal goes beyond a fun-filled weekend to help the recipients of the charity. He also hopes to educate those who attend.
“I firmly believe that ignorance breeds hate,” Ripple explained, speaking specifically about the Trans panel and other education panels scheduled for the convention. “So that’s something that we’re very very proud of. We’re an all-inclusive show — everybody’s welcome. It doesn’t matter your political stance, doesn’t matter your religious stance, because we ask once you hit those hotel doors all that stuff stays out in the parking lot.”
Transparency is also very important to Ripple and Scares That Care, Inc. All of the staff are there on a volunteer basis and 100% of the profits go to the charity recipients of the year listed on the organization’s website. This year’s recipients are Jordan Mestres, Ryan, and Dawn Fugate.
All recipients are carefully vetted to be sure the money is going to someone in need. Background checks are completed and recipients have to agree to a photo and story release before they can become participants to ensure transparency and honesty.
Ripple would also like to thank the staff of the Doubletree by Hilton for hosting this event once again.
The event kicks off with an unofficial start Thursday night at the Doubletree by Hilton with a pool movie — Creature from the Black Lagoon — before its official start Friday at 5 p.m. The convention continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be a 5k and Kid’s Fun Run Saturday, July 30 starting at 8 a.m.
“We absolutely cannot thank the staff at the Doubletree by Hilton enough for all of the bending over backwards that they do to help us with this show. I mean we truly, truly love the staff there.” Ripple said.
For additional information on guest appearances, charity recipients, and ticket purchasing, visit the Scares That Care official website.