Scares that Care Charity Weekend 7 Coverage

by Justine Marcoux

Blood, sweat, and tears. That is the most basic summary of this years Scares that Care event that I can think of, but I want to tell you more. I want you all to know that when Scares that Care Charity Weekend 7 was announced back in 2019 and I managed to snag hotel reservations before they sold out in a record breaking 24 Minutes I was what the kids call “hype”.

We all know what happened in 2020, a cruel game of uncertainty while we patiently waited to see if life would ever get back to something that resembled normal.  I wonder if Jigsaw was really behind it? Though this year was going to be different and more difficult, Scares Founder & CEO Joe Ripple announced the show would indeed be happening and a wave of excitement went through everyone involved. This year’s show was definitely a little smaller than the previous years and some things had to be cut that we wish hadn’t but, it’s okay because once again we were all reunited and we were able to not just support the three families as always, but also a fourth this year.

Blood, sweat, and tears. Let’s start with the obvious here. When I walked into the lobby of the Double Tree Williamsburg Hotel for the first time on Thursday July 29th I instantly became overwhelmed with emotions and THERE WERE TEARS! For so long it felt like this would never happen. But here I was, in my favorite place about to be surrounded by my favorite people doing what I love to do. Covid robbed us of a lot of things but in that moment I felt like I got some of them back. I found Joe and gave him a hug and told him what an absolute gem he is because he is just honestly one of the greatest people you could ever know. He had to deal with all the politics involved with 100s of people during a pandemic, where not everyone would get their way, on top of handling the day to day struggles of running a charity. I think he handled it as well as anyone could and I support all the choices he had to make as he did whatever he could to put everyone’s best interest at heart. This is a charity organization first and a convention second. On Saturday July 31st Joe would go on to win a Crystal Award/WWE championship belt for being such an amazing person. It was just beautiful to witness. And of course, more tears were had along with the annual Bra Walk in which Joe’s new ensemble was M A G I C A L. He ended up raising $3,253.73! So proud of you Joe!

What do you want now, the sweat or the blood? I guess I’ll go with the sweat since the blood wasn’t technically a part of Scares but related…kinda. Virginia has been especially hot this year and with the event becoming mask mandatory due to CDC regulations just days before the convention it was hotter than a boiler room…if you happened to be dressed up like Shredder…which I was. Okay so he’s not really horror but it works with the mask and I got lots of compliments on it. Guys, Miko Hughes told me he loved my Shredder *squeee*. I met and talked to A LOT of people throughout the weekend and he was definitely one of the most memorable. Really hope he comes back because cosplaying Gage Creed is a dream of mine.

Another guest I had a great interaction with was Jeffrey Voorhees from Jaws. Being that Jaws is one of my all time favorite movies I just had to ask him about that story going around about how he met his mom from Jaws years later at his restaurant he said it was true! He told me all about their relationship and his experience filming the movie and it was just a fantastic moment for me. His contribution to the silent auction was also hilarious. Check it out in the photos!

Before I get to the blood let me just give a shout out to Erik Kulczynski and Jon Jack, the winners of the newly dubbed Crystal award of appreciation. They were presented with their awards during Scaryoke on Saturday night and if you guessed more tears were had, you’d be right. Jon Jack set out in a mission this past year to spread some joy in some pretty dark times. Jon Jack started out with some Halloween cards and chocolate and eventually sent out over 600 birthday/holiday/just because cards to anyone and everyone who signed up. Jon Jack told me he’s already prepped for the next round with about 200 Halloween cards ready to go. Then there’s Erik who is a state rep from Maryland and one of the most amazing contributors to the cause, Erik was awarded for single handedly raising over $20k for the charity. I am so glad to know such a humble, enthusiastic, and hard working person. Erik went on to rename “Scaryoke” “Tracie-oke” that night in honor of Tracy Thoms who is a Scares regular and basically the karaoke queen. Scaryoke any night of Scares in the hotel bar is the place to be and they always make it the most entertaining and fun. This year we had two Crystal awards presented, the Bra walk, and had several heartfelt speeches from Joe, Jon Jack, and Erik.

Okay okay, I know you’re dying to know about the blood! The timing of Scares this year was perfect as the hotel was hosting a Red Cross blood drive at this time. Now, even though this wasn’t a part of the convention it needed to be a part of my experience. We fight real monsters after all, don’t we? I will admit I was pretty nervous as it had been years since I last donated but as luck would have it, I had no complications and now have the excuse “sorry I can’t, I donated blood” to use for the next several weeks, which is great.

Now my quest with each Scares is to cover as much of the con as possible. Since it is a charity organization I feel it’s so important to share their mission, while also trying to promote all the vendors and artists that attend because they are absolutely critical to a good convention. Every year I set out to get up early and stay up later talking to every one, and taking photos of everyone/thing I can. I have come to realize I simply cannot cover everything, and though that makes me sad I’m proud to say I got damn near close! I wasn’t able to attend the race or any of the panels but I think I got shots of every single guest, artist and vendor that was there. If I missed you I’m sorry, but I really really tried! I went back several times to check on any tables that were unattended earlier, in heels no less!

Can’t wait for next year! Hey Siri, how many days until the next Scares?

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