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Deer Park group scares for charity

The Deer Park Community Center is handing out a portion of its October event proceeds to other charities.

Twenty-five percent of this Saturday’s $12 ticket price for the center’s haunted house will be donated to the Ryan T. Horodnicki Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The haunted house, which was designed by students at the community center, opened the first weekend in October. Joanne Stengel, the center’s director, said a portion of the proceeds from the first weekend went to the Chief Raymond Downey Scholarship Fund and the Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society. And last weekend, a portion of the fare was donated to the John Thiessen Children’s Foundation.

“It started as a charity for us, and it snowballed into much more than that,” Stengel said. “At that point, we knew we had to add a day for Ryan.”

The Ryan T. Horodnicki fund was created in honor of a 20-year-old Town of Babylon worker who died in 2007 after falling from a town truck and suffering brain damage. The scholarships are awarded to students from Deer Park High School.

Stengel said Horodnicki attended events at the center while growing up.

The haunted house is at 41 Homer Ave., Deer Park. It is open from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Stengel said it takes about 15 minutes to walk through the house.

Professional actors, student volunteers and animated props haunt the halls.

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