The dead don't walk in Bellingham on Halloween, but the zombies dance "Thrillingham" and raise money to help kids.
Two groups of zombies practice for a month to learn the complex choreography to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" for performances in Fairhaven and Maritime Park.
Fairhaven Fitness at the Bellingham Tennis Club hosts one of the groups of zombies and asks for a fee for the lessons. Club owner Robin Robertson says half the money raised goes toward paying for expenses, including instruction and the sound system for the Fairhaven performance. The other half is donated to Blue Skies for Children.
Robin reports that this year the zombies raised $500, and that was matched by Fairhaven Fitness for a total donation of $1,000.
In the past four years of Thrillingham, Robin says the club has donated $4,500 to Blue Skies for Children on behalf of the zombies.
We had a videographer at the park performance and you can see the dance here.
WENDY DEFREEST HONORED BY WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Wendy DeFreest, owner of Avenue Bread and Deli, was awarded the 2012 Professional Woman of the Year from Whatcom Women in Business, according to a press release from Sharon Yonally.
"Under her leadership and vision, Avenue Bread has experienced great success and tremendous growth, which is particularly impressive in an otherwise struggling economy," said Susie Betts, president of Women in Business.
The business has "grown to be a household name in Whatcom County, a place the local community loves to patronize, and a place where the team is like family. Wendy's example of hard work, perseverance and following her dreams is one we should all aspire to, and is highly deserving of the recognition this award presents," Susie said.
Other finalists included Elizabeth Boyle, owner of "Decorating Your Life;" Linda Crawford, Bellingham Technical College program coordinator; Carmen Dolfo, Western Washington University women's basketball head coach; Lisa Holleman, executive ice president and CFO of Peoples Bank; and Lisa Karlberg, owner of Bellingham Alive Magazine.
You can nominate someone for the 2013 Professional Woman of the Year online at wwib.org.
Whatcom Women in Business is a non-profit organization that was established in 1978 as a network and referral resources for business women.
2012 PEACE BUILDER AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center's 2012 Peace Builder Award winners will be honored at the 10th Annual Peace Builder Awards Gala, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Majestic in Bellingham. Tickets, $35, are available at whatcomdrc.org.
The winners, according to a press release, are:
Youth program: Aimee Frazier and the Girls' Explorers' Club for founding and leading the club, a program of Wild Whatcom that builds peace by modeling collaboration, communication and respect for selves, others, and the environment.
Organization: Julia Bozzo of NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center for her vision and leadership creating the center, a nonprofit that builds peace by promoting awareness, empathy and compassion through its riding programs.
Arts: Pam Kuntz of Kuntz and Company for building peace through artistry, empowering people to find their voice, promoting understanding and communication, and encouraging community dialogue through dance and theater.
Healthcare: Denise Katterhaggen of St. Joseph hospital for her role in transforming the provision of healthcare services in our community and building peace by helping to create a shared vision and sense of responsibility among diverse service providers.
Community member: Galen Emanuele of Pass the Hat and Upfront Theatre for his work building peace through Pass the Hat, which provides critical support to people when they are most in need, and for the communication and collaboration skills he teaches and uses through improvisation workshops and shows at Upfront Theatre.
Education: Ted Pratt for building peace through his daily activities, striving for awareness of diversity, overcoming barriers through understanding, and for increasing community connection between and within WWU and the surrounding community.
WWU'S TROY ABEL WINS NATIONAL AWARD
The American Political Science Association has awarded its Lynton Keith Caldwell Prize to Troy Abel, a Western Washington University associate professor of environmental studies, for his book, "Coming Clean: Information Disclosure and Environmental Performance," according to a press release.
The book was co-written with Michael Kraft of the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay and Mark Stephan of the Washington State University at Vancouver.
The award is given to the best book on environmental politics and policy published the last three years, and is named after the influential political scientist and Indiana University professor who was the principal architect of the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act.
"Coming Clean" examines the ways in which information disclosure, as a policy tool, influences corporate environmental performance, and evaluates the effectiveness of the Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory program, which requires manufacturers to regularly disclose such information.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY STORE HONORED; HIRES NEW MANAGER
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County was honored as November's business of the month by the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, according to a press release.
The non-profit organization helps build and repair affordable housing for low-income families in Whatcom County. Its 16,000-square-foot store sells donated new and used furniture, appliances, housewares and building supplies at 50 percent or less of retail prices. Proceeds from the store support Habitat's mission.
"It's really an honor to be recognized by other businesses in our community for work that we're doing," said Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County Executive Director John Moon.
The Habitat Store also hired a new general manager in October.
Susan Blatz, who came to the job from Premier Graphics/School Specialty, has spent more than 30 years in sales and retail store management.
A resident of Whatcom County for the past 16 years, she has also volunteered in the community in a variety of roles, including serving with parent teacher associations at Silver Beach Elementary, Whatcom Middle School and Squalicum High School.
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County is a local, self-sustaining affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit Christian organization that builds houses for families of all faiths in need of decent, affordable housing. Families help build their homes and then purchase them with $500 down and a zero percent interest mortgage. The group has built 33 homes and housed more than 145 people in Whatcom County.
The Habitat Store, at 1385 Admiral Place in Ferndale, is open to the public. It accepts and sells new and lightly used furniture, appliances, housewares and building supplies. All proceeds support Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County's mission to eliminate poverty housing.
Out and About runs Mondays in The Bellingham Herald.
Reach JULIE SHIRLEY at email@example.com or call 360-715-2261.