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'NeverLand' brought to life as charity event on Halloween

'NeverLand' brought to life as charity event on Halloween


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PROVO — On the brink of Halloween, some people are scrambling for last minute costumes or parties to attend. But one group of friends embraced the holiday by recreating the story of 'Peter Pan' in their front yard and used it to celebrate for a special cause.

Olivia McLaughlin and Megan Rich grew up together in California going to larger-than-life Halloween parties. McLaughlin studied theater and costume design at an Art Institute and she once staged an Alice in Wonderland 'Mad Hatter's tea party' in her yard for Halloween and has been hooked on big costume themed productions ever since. She and Rich brought that love with them when moved to Provo.

"I love being in costume and character and doing theatrical things," McLaughlin said. "Since I'm not in theater anymore, it is a good way to express myself and my friends can let go of their inhibitions. It's a good way to get together and have fun."

And the group certainly dedicated themselves to their festive project. After coming up with the idea in early September and spending a collective amount of over 100 hours in building and designing the set of Never Land and their costumes, the group is looking forward to their unique Halloween celebration.

NeverLand Halloween Event
Time and Place:
  • 311 N. 1120 W. Provo
  • October 31-Halloween
  • 5:00-10:00 p.m.

"It will kind of be an experience" said Tim Rich, Megan's husband. "We will be in character all night. So as kids are stopping by they will feel like they are really in [Never Land."]

Although the friends wanted to have fun with the project, they also wanted to make it a valuable worthwhile experience with a good cause.

"We realized how valuable it could be for kids," Tim said. "We want people to come and take pictures. Yes, this is fun, but how could we make this more valuable?"

That is when they had the idea of asking for donations for the Cystic Fibrosis foundation at their display. Tim's sister was born with Cystic Fibrosis and was given a life expectancy of 17 years. Tim wanted to raise awareness and money for the cause while they celebrated.

"I think about Never Land and it is a dreamer, hopeful place," Tim said. "People with Cystic Fibrosis struggle and we want to give them a help to go forward."

The yard display will be complete with the lost boy's treehouse, the pirate's ship and skull rock. Tim and Megan will play the role of Peter Pan and Wendy while McLaughlin will portray the wicked Captain Hook, complete with her own designed costume. Other friends will join in as Tiger Lily, Tinkerbell, Rufio and other Lost Boys.

The event will take place October 31 from 5-10 p.m. at 311 N. 1120 West in Provo. To donate directly to the Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis go to www.cff.org.

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Faith Heaton Jolley

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