Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trail of Terror gives out grants from this year’s haunt

As published in the Record Journal Thursday December 27, 2012

By Russell Blair
Record-Journal staff
(203) 317-2225

WALLINGFORD - The zombies, ghouls and goblins that help make up the Trail of Terror may only perform for one month per year, but the money raised from the attraction will benefit the community for the next year and beyond.

More than a dozen local groups will receive portions of the roughly $80,000 raised from this year’s edition of the haunt, according to trailfounder Wayne Barneschi.

The biggest beneficiary this year is Community Revitalization Efforts of Wallingford, a program at the town’s two public high schools that sends students on humanitarian trips across the country. In April, 30 students and 11 chaperones flew to Birmingham, Ala., to work with Habitat For Humanity to rebuild homes destroyed after tornadoes struck the area last year.

CREW received a donation of $12,000 this year.

“Wayne’s generosity is unsurpassed,” said Lyman Hall High School English teacher Jennifer Castelli in an e-mail. Castelli organizes the program at the school. “He has donated more than $50,000 to CREW over the past six years,” she said. “He has provided … the ability to give students from all socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to participate in our trips during April vacations over the past six years.”

Michael Tyrell, a Sheehan High School physical education teacher who runs the CREW program there, said Barneschi deserves recognition for the work he does on the trail each year.

“Wayne makes sure each gift that is given is donated by the volunteers, not just himself, and that is what makes not only the trail so great but also the man who struggles to keep it running, Wayne Barneschi,” Tyrell said in an email.

Other recipients of trail money this year include the North Farms Volunteer Fire Department, Holiday for Giving, the Spirit of Giving and Meriden’s Augusta Curtis Cultural Center and Beat the Street Community Center.

North Farms Fire Chief Tim Wall said the $9,000 his department received will go toward purchasing a thermal imaging camera and to send a youth from the explorer program to spend a week at the state fire academy in Windsor Locks.

“I’ve known Wayne for 40 plus years,” Wall said. “At the time of Christmas and giving, he’s found a way to have fun and turn it around to helping others.”

Barneschi has donated money toward volunteer fire departments in town for the past three years.

Unlike in years past, this year the funding was spread out with smaller donations going to a larger number of groups.

For several years, Barneschi had directed a large amount toward an expansion at the Wallingford Emergency Shelter on Quinnipiac Street.

The Martin B. Rubin Family Center, a two-townhouse unit that offers transitional housing for families that have fallen on hard times, was completed in May with $210,000 of the construction cost coming from Trail of Terror.

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