Beta Theta Pi fraternity will be opening their haunted doors at 500 Sunset Ave. to the public as its members host the 13th annual Beta Boo haunted house on Friday, Oct. 31. As a philanthropy event, all proceeds from the night will go to TARC, a nonprofit organization in Topeka.
According to its website, TARC is a provider of support for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities:
“Our vision is that all people, including those with intellectual, developmental and related disabilities, experience life to their potential.”
The philanthropy hits home with the Beta brothers as it honors the recent passing of Luke Savage, younger brother of Dalton Savage, junior in civil engineering and pledge member of Beta.
“Luke passed away right before Beta Boo was supposed to happen (in 2012),” Dalton said. “Right after it happened, everyone came to me said, ‘We’re here for you through all this and we’re going to honor Luke through TARC.”
In the past years, the fraternity has given collected and donated canned goods to the Flint Hills Breadbasket. Yet members changed its focus to a new philanthropy that hit closer to home.
“Luke was a little behind the rest of the kids in his class, and TARC helped him to develop certain skills,” Dalton said. “It was absolutely amazing how they wanted nothing in return for all that they did. Now, my mom has been really, really active on their board to help pay back for all they did for us and for Luke.”
Though the fraternity will still accept canned goods as donations, senior in architectural engineering and president of Beta Theta Pi Kyle Rieger said they want to encourage people to donate to TARC. There is a $3 suggested minimum.
On Halloween night, there will be two featured times for those brave enough to enter a haunted tour. The first, from 5-6 p.m., is the “kid-friendly” version. The 6:30-9:30 p.m. tour is for scare seekers 14 years old and up.
“There are groups of five or six guys that are assigned to a room,” Rieger said. “They get a budget for that room, and every room has a theme. Last year, we had one room with a horror surgery-like room and a maze in the basement.”
In the spirit of tradition, there will be a maze in the basement again this year.
“I’m assigned to the basement along with most of my (pledge) class,” said Matt Ayres, junior in biology and executive team member for Beta Theta Pi. “We’ll make costumes for ourselves, then basically black out the whole room and make it like a torture-dungeon maze in the basement. My favorite part is getting to scare college kids and actually getting people to jump. Tough guys will come through and get really silent, and then go, ‘Oh god I’m scared.'”