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Teen Plans Haunted House Benefit For Food Bank

DALLAS -- He's at it again. Nick McCleery, a 15-year-old Dallas High School student, has already started working on his second-annual Halloween haunted house that will benefit the Dallas Food Bank.

DALLAS -- He's at it again.

Nick McCleery, a 15-year-old Dallas High School student, has already started working on his second-annual Halloween haunted house that will benefit the Dallas Food Bank.

To make it even bigger and better than last year's creepy creation that brought in more than 600 pounds of food and $300, he has started collecting cans and materials to decorate.

"He's terribly driven by his passion," Nick's stepmother, Debbie McCleery said. "Come June he's full swing into planning it."

Last year's haunted house was the largest Nick had ever made. He said he made smaller ones for trick-or-treaters before, but he wanted last year's to be larger. His parents told him they would support the endeavor if he made donations to a good cause. Nick said he chose the Dallas Food Bank because it helps local residents.

Nick estimated that about 1,000 people walked through the house during its three-day run. He had 14 actors play creepy characters in the different rooms, and is looking for more volunteers this year.

His excitement for the project, dubbed the "Trail of Terrors," is apparent. He said he has already designed costumes and makeup and constructed props.

"I really like building and being very creative," Nick said. "It gives me good stress and puts a little spice in my life."

However, his parents told him he had to find a new location this year as the amount of foot traffic on their property last Halloween destroyed their yard. It has yet to recover, Debbie said.

He has scoped out a couple of locations in the city and has written letters to the owners to see if he can use them for the fundraiser and is still looking for more options.

Nick is taking donations of money, supplies, costumes, props and cans. Donations can be dropped off at 780 SE LaCreole Drive or call 503-990-2647 and he can pick them up.

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