Clothes from thrift stores can find new life, even as outfits for the undead.
That’s exactly what happened at the New England Legends Zombie Prom, held Feb. 18 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Boston-Milford.
Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger, hosts of the New England Legends Podcast, hold the fearful fete to help charitable causes. This year’s zombie prom aided KemforKids, a community effort organized by Kemberly Mauricio of Milford, and created to support OneMission.
Mauricio was among those in ghoulish gear, with an outfit for about $30, including a suit, tie, and what Mauricio describes as “ugly, brown men’s shoes,” from Savers in Marlborough. Her husband, Michael, found clothes there for his zombie costume, for about the same amount.
Zombie prom participants are encouraged to roam thrift store aisles for clothes, which can be ripped, spot-bleached and marked with a paste from coffee grounds, which simulates blood.
The Mauricios are longtime friends of Belanger and Auger, who serves as a host on Milford-based MyFM 101.3. The Mauricios, along with friend Theresa Ballan, comprise the acoustic trio, Drift Wood, which performed at the zombie prom. “Ray is very supportive of local musicians,” Mauricio said.
Also pitching in was Mauricio’s cousin, makeup artist Julie Sullivan, who for a small fee gave promgoers a macabre makeover.
A friend on a cancer journey
OneMission supports pediatric cancer patients and their families. Mauricio’s efforts began with helping her friend, Nicole Doucette, through a cancer struggle now nearing the start of its third decade.
“I have a friend who has an incurable form of lymphoma, and so, she has been in and out of remission for almost 20 years,” Mauricio said. “I’ve been walking this journey with her.”
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Mauricio said, “The last few years, I felt helpless. There is nothing I could do, but I felt a pull to do something more. I wanted to honor her and her fight.” One day, while driving along Route 9 in Framingham, Mauricio saw a sign advertising the Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer.
Mauricio decided to participate, posting a photo on social media, showing her head completely shorn of hair. “Someone put the hashtag, #kemforkids, with a picture of my bald head. From that point on, it was like, ‘that’s kind of cool. We should create this organization.'”
KemforKids is nearing its goal of $200,000 total funds raised over the years for OneMission. Based in Westborough, OneMission aids young cancer patients and their families in various ways, including financial relief and housing assistance. To date, Mauricio said the total is about $167,000, which includes $2,500 raised from the zombie prom.
“I’m very open that I am fundraising for OneMission. KemforKids is our umbrella of people, friends, family, local businesses, community resources, all encompassing as what we call the village of hope,” Mauricio said.
Mauricio noted an upcoming fundraiser, the Meat Shoot, set for March 12 at the Natick Elks. The event has nothing to do with zombies, or shooting. It’s a Bingo contest, with prizes such as food ensembles, Mauricio said.
Through it all, Mauricio said Doucette remains a partner in KemforKids’ efforts. Mauricio said,
“Something good is coming out of something that is so dark. It is the way we try to look at it, because she has lived it firsthand. She truly understands what these young children are going through with cancer, and this particular charitable organization speaks to us.”
Tell us about your thrift store finds. Send your photos and stories, including the thrift store and prices of the items, to Margaret Smith, content editor, at [email protected].