by Shelbey Hernandez
The Lance – News Editor
A year had gone by since the last Windsor Zombie Walk and now, it’s risen from the dead.
With last year’s walk being unable to come together in time, this year’s walk had around 150 participants, much more than previous years. Part of it was because of old supporters relishing the walk’s return but another part was because of the family atmosphere provided by Micheal Reeve aka Captain Hindgrinder and his zombie pirate crew.
The Zombie Walk, held at Dieppe Park, originally was one that saw teenagers and adults running around late at night in zombie attire. As a result, Reeve said there were many people who took it a little too far.
“There had been incidents in the past where people would put blood on windows and stuff like that, climb on property and not obey the traffic laws,” said Reeve. “So they were just going all along the streets, stopping traffic and it wasn’t safe. It was a hindrance to the public and kind of a nuisance.”
This year, the event started at 4 p.m. and had face painting along with many photo opportunities with Hindgringer’s zombie crew. The walk itself didn’t start until 6 p.m. but the earlier time meant more families could attend and, they most certainly did. There were newborns to adults all dressed up to scare while maintaining a safe walk. Although the old way of doing the walk was fun for many, Reeve said this way ensures the right things are promoted—raising funds and food donations for good causes.
“The old way would make people think, ‘Oh great, the Zombie Walk,’ and we didn’t want that. We wanted people to be like, ‘Oh look at these guys, having fun and being really cool about it,’ and it’s for a good cause. That’s the image we wanted. There may be some scary costumes, but for the most part, it’s fun. During the daylight hours, it’s not terrifying, it’s safer, it’s more fun for the kids and it’s just better.”
The walk raised money for The Windsor Youth Centre and gathered can goods for the Windsor Downtown Mission. According to Reeve, the walk received many can goods, enough to fill the entire back of someone’s car. Plus he and his associates also filled a truck-full of canned goods and non-perishables. As for the WYC, they raised $240.
Reeve started organizing the event back in 2013 when the previous organizer had decided he didn’t want to run the event anymore. Reeve had attended those Zombie Walks pretty much since day one in his Hindgrinder costume so upon hearing of its cancelation, he took matters into his own hands. The charities of choice were different then. However, the two Reeve supports every year are for a specific reason. Reeve was homeless once and was considered a “troubled youth.” Although he said he didn’t necessarily receive help from these exact two organizations, he did receive help from organizations like them and said without them, who knows where he would have been.
“About 11 years ago, I myself had been homeless and had been labeled as an at-risk youth and I had a similar youth centre that helped me out, kept me on my feet and was able to allow me to get out of that circumstance,” said Reeve. “So this is my way of giving back and being that I’ve been in that unfortunate place, I know their needs and desires. So I want to help them continue running these organizations for people that have been there to get help that they need, to get food, to get clothing, to have their clothes washed so they can be better prepared to go out and look for work and can get out of that situation themselves.”
Already, plans for next year’s walk are being mapped out. Reeve said with the costume contests that went on this year, families can expect pets to be able to get in on that action in the future. Plus, there are even bigger plans to turn the Zombie Walk into a full out charity organization called the Giving Dead. It is unknown how soon this will occur, but the hope is to continue the motto of “We have no brains, but we have big hearts” through not just the walk, but a wide variety of other events as well which will help support many charities across the Windsor-Essex region.