Zombies, the horrifying creatures of the undead, are commonly known to roam the plains in search of flesh to eat. On Oct. 26, downtown Phoenix experienced its own zombie outbreak. But, these zombies did not gather to eat brains, instead, they helped benefit local charities.
The Downtown Phoenix Partnership created the “Zombie Walk 5,” which featured local vendors, live music and a march through downtown Phoenix to benefit the St. Mary’s Food Bank and the Arizona Humane Society. Close to 10,000 “zombies” showed up in full costume to support the event.
A spokeswoman for the Downtown Phoenix Partnership shared how the Zombie Walk has grown over the years.
“When the Zombie Walk started in 2009 there were only 200 people,” Anna Consie, communications manager for Downtown Phoenix Partnership, said. “The event doubled every year since.”
An event of this magnitude required a lot of help to put on, and people of all ages stepped up to help make the Zombie Walk successful. One volunteer told why she chose to give a helping hand.
“I love to help because everyone needs a hand,” Cheryl Fisher, a 15-year-old volunteer from Phoenix said. “Giving back like this is rewarding because you get to meet a lot of people.”
Marketing and promotions were another huge factor in making the Zombie Walk successful. When the Downtown Phoenix Partnership needed to make sure enough “zombies” came and donated canned foods to feed the needy, they received some help from the Ghostbusters.
“We are considered a charity fan club,” said Jeff Lewis, team captain of Arizona Ghostbusters. “Obviously, we’re huge fans of Ghostbusters. We use our costumes and vehicles to promote for charities.”
Lewis said the Zombie Walk event in particular is a lot of fun, because “it feels like you’re in the zombie apocalypse.”
One donated canned good allowed each participant to get his or face painted, aiding the zombie transformation as people gathered from all around the Valley to join in on the Zombie Walk festivities.
One parent waited in line with her children for over two hours so that they could get their faces painted after donating cans of Vienna sausages.
“I came here with my kids,” Laura Quintana, a cell phone technician from Phoenix, said. “A lot of these face paintings are real great. I wasn’t expecting my 1-year-old daughter to get this scared from it.”
Everyone was in the Halloween spirit during the Zombie Walk as people of all ages showed up in full costume to donate and march through downtown Phoenix. Food, music and costumes proved to be a fun time for the entire family.
One young event-goer said that she thought seeing other people’s costumes was entertaining.
“It’s cool I get to see people in costumes,” Jade Adams, a 9-year-old in attendance with her family said. “The people here make good zombies.”
The “Zombie Walk 5″ showed how America’s fascination with zombies can be used to benefit the community. If 10,000 zombies could come together and help feed the needy, maybe it gives us all more reason to look forward to the real zombie apocalypse.
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