Jon's Way Youth Group of Chicago Ridge will be hosting its second annual Haunted Hall Drive-Thru, at the Chicago Ridge Village Hall, 10455 Ridgeland Ave., on Saturday, October 30, from 5-8 p.m. (Supplied photos)

Jon's Way Youth Group of Chicago Ridge will be hosting its second annual Haunted Hall Drive-Thru, at the Chicago Ridge Village Hall, 10455 Ridgeland Ave., on Saturday, October 30, from 5-8 p.m. (Supplied photos)

Chicago Ridge haunted drive-thru honors Jon Grabinski

By Kelly White

For the second year in a row, Jon’s Way Youth Group in Chicago Ridge has created a fun, spooky and socially-distanced way to celebrate the holiday.

The group of teens designed a drive-through haunted house cleverly called, The Haunted Hall Drive-Thru, at the Chicago Ridge Village Hall, 10455 Ridgeland Ave. The event will take place on Saturday, October 30, from 5-8 p.m.

“My favorite part is scaring people and spending time with my friends,” Jon’s Way member, Shamir Murrell, 15, of Chicago Ridge, said. “I like to scare my friends too.” 1 5

Chicago Ridge residents, Roger and Karrie Grabinski started Jon’s Way after their son, Jon, 17, tragically lost his life in a car accident on March 5, 2016, along with 18-year-old Salvatore Melant, of Chicago.

The non-profit organization consists of more than 30 teens, serves as an outlet where teens can volunteer in the community, meet other teens and spend their free time in healthy and productive ways.

“It is important to me to keep the traditions the Jon’s Way teens started,” Karrie Grabinski said. “By having a Haunted Drive-Thru, we can safely keep their traditions going as we make our way through coronavirus. We are so thankful that so many adults have stepped in to help to run it safely.”

Much credit goes to Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar, Chicago Ridge Village Clerk Barbara Harrison and all the officials of the Village of Chicago Ridge for making this possible, Grabinski said.

“This is the event we all look forward to all year long,” Grabinski said. “Every year we get bigger and better. There is so much excitement generated creating this event for the teens, the adults and myself.”

As attendees enter the Haunted Hall Drive-Thru, at 105th and Oxford Avenue, they will first be greeted with a trunk-or-treat provided by various organizations from the community, including the Lions Club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Chicago Ridge Athletic Association, School District 127.5 board, Knights of Columbus, Elks Club, and Chicago Ridge families, the Fraiders and the Izaguirres.

During the trunk-or-treat, local area children can trick-or-treat from car to car. The cars will be festively decorated and costumes are encouraged.

All of the volunteers at the event are asked to wear masks and gloves while distributing packaged candy.

Then, attendees can drive-through the Haunted Hall Drive-Thru portion of the event by turning into the Village Hall and entering Zombie Land. This area will include members from the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, the Chicago Ridge Public Library and Jon’s Way Youth Group, that will be dressed up as zombies. Residents are asked to remain in their vehicles during the entire drive-through portion.

As residents drive-thru, they are asked to follow the traffic pattern slowly and be cautious of anyone in costumes along the path.

“This event gives the teens something to look forward to,” Grabinski said. “They get to be creative. They do research on all the things they can do. Then they get to see all their ideas happen and they have so much fun bringing their ideas to the community.”

For the first time this year, the Haunted Hall included a live musical performance by the local band, The Vibe Dealers.

The Vibe Dealers are an up-and-coming garage band founded in Chicago Ridge native Joey Fraider, 17, and Abby Hobbs, 18, of Oak Lawn.

“We credit their start of our band from our speech coach at Richard’s High School,” Fraider said. “Jon’s Way has always been supportive of the teens in Chicago Ridge and their endeavors.”

Fraider has participated in the Haunted Trail since the inception at Jon’s Way and is so excited to be participating with the Vibe Dealers this year.

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