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Behind The Screams

Back to Behind The Screams Of ScareHouse

Over $50,000 for Local Families

a person holding a babyWhile ScareHouse is known for creating scares, we also like to create smiles when we give back to the community that supports us every fall. Every October, we partner with Burgatory on a ScareHouse Shake, where a portion of the sales benefit the Mario Lemieux Foundation. This year, the donation will provide funding to Austin’s Playrooms, which offer a safe and sound environment for families as they make important health decisions for their child.

“Everything we do is in line with something personal that has happened to the Lemieux family,” says Nancy Angus, Executive Director of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. “[Austin’s Playrooms] were created when Mario and Nathalie’s son Austin was born premature. Mario was playing hockey, and Nathalie had two kids under the age of three. What do you do when your husband is away and you have a sick baby and two toddlers?”

Nathalie knew she wasn’t alone in this predicament and decided there had to be a better way for families, and so she helped come up with a playroom concept that has really taken off.

“We have 43 rooms across the country, including three military rooms in addition to our rooms in Western Pennsylvania. The playrooms are a huge part of what we do, and it’s all about trying to help someone in a challenging situation and make their lives a little bit better. All of it goes back to Nathalie and Mario’s own personal experience.”

In the age of COVID, playrooms like Austin’s Playrooms have become a haven for families, especially with hospital restrictions still in place.

a close up of a person holding a flower“Hospital situations are still difficult right now. Access to the hospital is very limited, and in many situations, siblings are not even able to visit. It’s a tricky world we live in right now, so it made sense to do some technology updates in our playrooms.”

One of the technology renovations being considered is adding a whiteboard to the playroom.

“The whiteboards today are so technologically advanced from old-school whiteboards you had in college on your dorm door. They’re digital and can project things, and they’re just awesome.”

While the benefiting Lemieux Foundation project changes every year, one thing that doesn’t change is the delicious ScareHouse Shake, which consists of crumbled Oreos, vanilla ice cream, housemade vanilla custard, and gummy worms. In the 10 years since ScareHouse, Burgatory, and the Lemieux Foundation have partnered together on this program, $50,000 have been donated to the Lemieux Foundation, just on the shakes alone!

“That’s 50,000 shakes in 10 years. It’s a crazy number of shakes. Credit to Burgatory—they’re so good!”