Be There to be SCARED!


Dare if you will!

Photograph by G Bruce

Dare if you will!

The sun is beginning to set earlier in the evening, pumpkins are appearing on front porches and temperatures are dropping- to the mid-80’s, at least. Halloween is near! With Halloween also comes the annual Scaring for Caring haunted house, run by Miami Country Day School senior Isabella Allen. Come to the Scaring for Caring haunted house and street fair on Wednesday, October 31 at sunset at 1290 NE 102 Street, Miami Shores. Be there to be scared!

Scaring for Caring was founded in 2014 by Miami Country Day School graduate and current University of Miami student Mary Elizabeth Allen

Isabella Allen-Carrying on the family tradition.

and former St. Thomas Aquinas graduate and current Emerson College student Christopher Rodriguez. “This is our fifth year and the first three years we’ve raised money for cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Last year, we split fifty-fifty between Big Brothers Big Sisters and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center […] Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nonprofit that focuses on youth mentoring and providing programs and mentorship for underprivileged children to make sure they reach their highest potential.” Isabella Allen explains the goals of Scaring for Caring and where the hard-earned funds are sent to. “This year we’re changing it up a little. We’re doing Big Brothers Big Sisters again, fifty-fifty, with U-Health Jackson’s Children Care, in particular, the cancer unit. So it’s going towards paying for kid’s cancer treatment.”

After raising $500,000 over the past four years, Isabella Allen decided to make this year’s haunted house stand out from the rest. “This year is really special because it’s the last year, so we wanna go out with a bang. This year is the last year because after my sister did it, I was really, really persistent despite everyone saying ‘Don’t do it […]’ I was really persistent and I was able to do it last year with the help of some of my friends.” Now that Isabella Allen is graduating this spring, continuing the tradition of the Scaring for Caring haunted house would be more difficult. “With that experience from last year, that’s making it so much easier to do it this year but it’s not gonna be continued because unfortunately, my brother won’t be continuing the haunted house, but he will start […] an annual flag football fundraiser to keep Scaring for Caring alive.”

Following the themes of “Your Worst Nightmare, “Insane Asylum,” and “Cabin in the Woods,” to name a few, Isabella Allen and her group of “Scaremen” decided on a final theme that was completely different from the rest. “This year’s theme is 1950’s village of Miami Shores.” Seeing that the haunted house is located in Miami Shores and the majority of the haunted house’s visitors are locals, this theme undoubtedly suits Scaring for Caring. Isabella Allen adds, “We wanted to do something like a haunted village in the 1950’s and then do a full circle and make it Miami Shores, because the original goal was to bring everyone together from Miami Shores to have a huge event that just brought the community together.”

Scaring for Caring is made up of a team of high school students, and so, the organization’s founders set out to recruit their “Scaremen” in 2014. “I’ve known Chris (Christopher Rodriguez) and Mea (Mary Elizabeth Allen) since middle school- we all went to St. Rose. We just stayed friends until high school, through high school, and even now. They came up to me one day saying, ‘Hey! We have this idea, we want you to be a part of it with us.’ And Scaring for Caring was born.” St. Thomas Aquinas graduate and current FIU student Andrea Bruce describes how her involvement with Scaring for Caring became much more meaningful to her than she could ever have anticipated. “I knew that Scaring for Caring would help a lot of people but I never knew that would include myself. In 2017, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.”  

Isabella Allen and Andrea Bruce

No one ever knows if something like this will happen to them. However, this doesn’t mean that living in fear of the future is the solution. What is the solution is helping people who are overcoming great adversities, in ways big or small. “Through Scaring for Caring and the connections I made over the years with the Sylvester team, I was able to get appointments and doctors” Andrea Bruce continues to describe her first-hand account of the impact Scaring for Caring has had on her life. “Through them, I was cured- I was able to undergo the treatment and everything that I needed. Now I am without cancer and still going strong with Sylvester and Scaring for Caring.”

The mission statement of Scaring for Caring is as follows: “We’re a team of high school students that raises funds for youth mentoring and cancer treatment. 100% of our spooky earnings are donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters and U-Health Jackson Children’s Care. Over the past four years, we have raised $500,000! To get more information and to help us scares up funds, stop by on Halloween night! Our haunted maze is always free, but donations are highly encouraged.”

If you are unable to visit Isabella Allen, Mary Elizabeth Allen and Andrea Bruce and the rest of the “Scaremen” on Halloween night, please visit to donate to this amazing cause!