Keiser University’s 2018 Scare Fairs had it all… spooks and smiles, ghouls and games, frights, food and “fabooolous” fun! Sixteen campuses turned their classrooms, hallways and lobbies into an enchanting night of entertainment for the fall open houses on Oct 24. Each year, faculty, staff, and students get even more creative with their creepy collection of activities to draw friends, family, and community members to their local campuses. Many of the campuses reported record turnout for this year’s fall open house festivities, with the total number of attendees topping 4,500 and surpassing last year’s event by 500.
“Thanks to each and every one of you for all your hard work to make each event an impactful one for your campus and community,” said Gene McDonnell, Associate Vice Chancellor High School Relations. “Keiser University continues to make a difference in our communities, and your dedication is unmatched.”
Campuses also offered donation boxes to kick off KU’s statewide fundraising efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Michael. Almost $350 was collected from people who dropped off contributions during the fair.
Each campus featured a radio station partner who helped keep the crowd entertained with music and contests. Everyone took lots of photos, which are featured on Keiser social media channels. Social Media and PR Director Adrienne Simeon held a Scare Fair Photo Contest on Facebook. Miami’s campus won with 140 likes and 25 shares for a photo of perplexed Minnie Mouse. Congrats! They’ll be treated to a pizza party for their victory.
Among the highlights this year, West Palm Beach’s Doctor of Chiropractic Program charmed guests with a dramatic and well-choreographed performance of “Thriller”.
Winding through the halls, kids in costumes visited movie-themed rooms that included “Phantom of the Opera,” “Ghost Busters,” “Charlie Brown,” “Scooby-Doo,” “Beetlejuice,” and “The Addams Family.”
The Port St. Lucie campus continued its tradition of a fun family night with trick or treating for kids of all ages on the first floor, sponsored by more than 30 community partners. Staff, faculty and students went all out to design, construct and create a haunted experience by converting half of the second floor into Hallways of Horrors. Accessible only through the spider infested elevators, the guided scary tour featured live zombies, mutant clowns, and fan favorites such as Michael Myers, along with “live action” displays including the gruesome nursing surgical encounter and freaky circus.
New Port Richie gave out bags and bags of candy, as well as caramel apples and pizza. A treasure hunt ushered everyone inside the building to visit different classrooms where they received stickers to decorate their pumpkins. Radio Station WQYK brought along an ice cream truck that was so popular they ran out of the complimentary treats by the end.
Pembroke Pines added barbeque to its tasty offering of goodies. Those attendings enjoyed a Kiddie Korner and Haunted House for a fun-filled evening.
Keiser’s Fort Lauderdale campus greeted its guests with a ring toss booth to kick off our Hurricane Michael Relief efforts. Power 96 played music and interacted with the children. Guests also took part in a ring-the-bell game just outside the main doors. Upon entering the main lobby, they had a chance to get pictures with Mr. Incredible and Violet, feast on a popcorn buffet, make a mask, play interactive games with students who volunteered, watch the “Incredibles” movie, and gather candy from different stations.
Orlando brought hundreds of people to campus where more than 30 vendors distributed goodies, created balloon animals, and hosted a costume contest. The youngest guests loved the “Trunk ‘N Treat” portion of Scare Fair while the high school age and the adult crowds enjoyed making their way through the “Haunted Holidays” house where screams echoed through the halls. This year’s theme “Haunted Holidays” was portrayed by Leprechauns giving gold coins and severed ears, Thanksgiving diners eating body parts, Krampus, Jason (from Friday the 13th) Michael Myers (Halloween), “Bad Seed” and other pumpkin monsters, the Grim Reaper and “Peter Rottentail”.
The Fort Myers campus filled the parking lot for “Trunk-N-Treat” festivities with employees decorating the trunks of their cars for the treaters. Trunks included everything from a crazy cat lady to the Bates hotel. A costume contest followed with prizes given.
Lakeland’s campus featured its first truly scary scream tent – a walk-through attraction with heavy decoration, special effects, and scare actors. Darkness fell at just the right time to make it a big success. Guests could also enjoy popcorn from the kettle corn roaster and lots of food, as well as a bounce house, a large “Trunk-N-Treat,” a craft station, cookie decorating, a costume contest, and a dance contest.
At Daytona Beach, the campus partnered with a local high school which provided student volunteers to help set up events. Every program went all out to create a spooky good time. Another draw was a kid-friendly zone where not-so-scary visitors were invited to jump in a Halloween-themed bounce house, color pictures of their favorite fall landscapes, or have their fortunes read by our smiling fortune teller. All visitors were invited to join in movie time, complete with popcorn, in the auditorium.
Tallahassee’s Scare Fair featured fortune telling, virtual tour games, face painting and a wacky witch serving punch. Attendees loved the food and music selections as children and adults alike participated in costume contests, “Trunk-N-Treat,” a photo booth, and tours to view creative decorations across the campus. For guests who enjoy a little scare, the Haunted Culinary House offered a night of fright by filling kitchens and hallways with zombies, chainsaws, creepy doctors, brains, and more.
Sarasota took advantage of having amazing culinary treats as refreshments for participants, along with Halloween candy. Fair-goers enjoyed face painting, decorations, animatronics, and a movie in the auditorium.
Melbourne’s campus also got inspiration from the Culinary Arts students, offering rice crispy treats “brains” for guests to decorate. The Biomedical program set up a Mad Scientist lab, while the Physical Therapy Assistant and Occupational Therapy Assistant programs operated a Creepy Care Clinic, and Medical Assistant students demonstrated lab tests for those brave enough to watch.
At the Tampa campus, fairgoers not only enjoyed the zombie-themed haunted house, but also had the opportunity to hear more about the programs offered. One of the lead organizers, Debra Bogart, head librarian, described the evening as “fulfilling to see how excited students and their families were to take part in the event. From face painting to trick or treating, it was a night to remember!”
The Writing Studio at the Miami campus hosted its 7th Annual Spooky Storybook Reading for children in conjunction with the Scare Fair Open House. The little ghouls had a “frightfully” good time. KU Miami student volunteers and the Writing Studio coordinator read stories to the children,. Some of the kiddos enjoyed it so much that they volunteered to read to the other children! Afterward they received “fangtastic” goodie bags and got to take home one of their favorite books from the event. The primary goals of the storybook reading are to promote children’s literacy development and to inspire a love of books and reading.
What made Clearwater’s Scare Fair outstanding this year were the over-the-top Halloween decorations. Students from each academic program competed against staff and faculty for décor with the most “spirit”. The winners -Ms. Elliott’s Medical Assisting Class.
The Jacksonville campus drew a crowd of more than 450 people with spooky fun that included a real Pumpkin patch, a live Operation Game, a Clue Mystery inspired scavenger hunt, a haunted house, an escape room, a costume trunk, lots of trick-or-treat candy and hot dogs. They also hosted a Jack-O-lantern contest, McGruff the Crime Dog, the LifeSouth blood mobile, and offered scary stories in the library along with crafts and games for all ages. Students who participated worked hard to show the true Keiser “spirit” (Pun intended).
At Keiser University students always come first, our reputation was built in Florida. Keiser is a not-for-profit university with over 40 years of history, thousands of graduates on campus and online. Now, with a 100-acre residential campus, this can be your right fit. We are Keiser University!
Keiser University is pleased to join forces with guest lecturer, and New York Times Bestselling author Don Yaeger, to offer The Greatness Leadership Initiative: Transforming the World in the Face of Change. This open, online course is available free of charge to all in the Keiser University community. Stay tuned for more information!