Halloween ‘I spy’ display in DDO raises funds for SPCA West

Click to play video 'West Islander creates ‘I spy’ Halloween display for good cause' West Islander creates ‘I spy’ Halloween display for good cause
Charlotte Gibson has transformed her front lawn into a massive 'I spy' Halloween display that trick or treaters can enjoy from a safe distance. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, Gibson hopes to raise money for the West Island SPCA – Oct 30, 2020

A West Island home is raising money for a good cause this Halloween with a spooky front lawn display.

Charlotte Gibson’s home in Dollard-Des Ormeaux is nearly completely out of sight behind the massive 10-foot-tall, three-stage exhibit.

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Located at 153 Leslie St., Gibson is collecting donations for the local West Island SPCA.

The non-profit, no-kill shelter is under extreme final pressure, according to SPCA West director Remi Brazeau.

“In these times of unprecedented duress, the pandemic has imposed on our organization some of the hardest challenges we ever experienced,” Brazeau said.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced annual fundraisers to be shut down. Those events were the backbone for the SPCA and crucial for its survival, Brazeau said.

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He says the situation is now extremely critical.

“We must find ways to raise funds to finance our operations.”

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That is what Gibson has done. Transforming her property for over 35 years for Halloween and Christmas, the animal lover and SPCA volunteer answered the call.

“This all started with a baby monitor and a torn pair of my husband’s pants,” Gibson said.

“Now it’s evolved into this and most of my things are not even out this year,” she said, showcasing the miscellaneous skulls and spooky nick-knacks hanging behind her.

This year due to the pandemic, she was forced to scale down her annual display.

Instead of a haunted walkthrough, she had to find a new and safe way to have trick-or-treaters enjoy the festive holiday.

She came up with a Halloween-inspired “I spy” game that children and adults can enjoy in a socially distanced fashion from the street.

“It’s like a Where’s Waldo-style game,” Gibson said.

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The list of more than 22 items for passersby to find includes swine flu, an apple, a mermaid and a rat in a dog’s mouth.

People can play the game from the street.

For those staying in on Halloween night, they can also participate at home with an online version on the event’s Facebook page.

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People are invited to leave a small cash donation on-site or online through the SPCA West website. 

“More than ever, every donation plays a major role in our ability to remain alive,” Brazeau said.

The money will go towards animal care, including food and vet expenses.

The event will be lit on Halloween from 5 to 8 p.m.