7th annual zombie march helps Eastern Iowa charities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

7th annual zombie march helps eastern Iowa charities

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Of all the screams and scares October has to offer, none may compare to this.

Saturday night Happy Hollow Park was transformed into a graveyard taken over by Vegas-themed zombies on a mission to invade downtown Iowa City.

"When people hear a zombie march, they're going what?" said Bob Andrlik, executive director of Table to Table, a food rescue organization in Iowa City.

There is a method to all the madness.

"It draws attention to the causes because it's so unique," Andrlik said.

The only thing frightening about Saturday's scene was what it represents, a continued need within the community in several different areas.

Jennifer Bohn was hit with news tough to take as a parent when her son was diagnosed with autism.

"It's still very scary," she said.

Bohn now serves as co-president of the East Central Iowa Autism Society.  She is using the march to help raise awareness about the disorder affecting one out of 88 children.

"What are some of the things we can do to help some of the other folks in the community?" Bohn said. 

Then there's the need in Johnson County for food.

The (Johnson County) Crisis Center has their visits up by 19 percent this year, North Liberty Food Pantry is up 13 or 14 percent," Andrlik said. 

Zombie participants donated 376 pounds of canned goods Saturday to Table-to-Table to distribute to those in need of help.

"People usually give in Thanksgiving and Christmas and kind of forget the rest of the year and this is just to get that out in the forefront," said Shawn Beatty, organizer of the march.  Beatty says the food total is the largest the march has ever gathered.

It's the reason Beatty, a school teacher and zombie enthusiast, puts this event on every year, using the walking dead to help bring life to the fight for many area families.

"It's a great feeling. It's a lot fun," Beatty said. 

The zombie march also rounded up $730 for charity.

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