Tom, Ryan and Suzanne Crimmins (left to right)
Staten Island Zoo had a fun and fright filled weekend with their sold out Spooktacular. Some attractions included a doll house and Transylvania tour. Tom Crimmins Realty's very own Tom Delese had hosted a souvenir family portrait booth which was inspired by a pop-up Halloween card. All money and donations that were raised were given to the zoo.
"I bought six Halloween cards to get an idea from," said Delese. "I wanted something that I wanted to step into. I wanted to step into a graveyard."
The idea originated nine years ago when Delese, a former toy and industrial designer, worked at the Staten Island Advance. The Advance offered Spooktacular keychains and newspaper as their sponsorship, but Delese knew he could contribute more. Delese had joined Tom Carnesecchi, a fellow colleague, and built a family oriented portrait booth. The Advance approved their idea and funded them $600 to $700 and offered storage in their building up until last year. The Zoo now stores all decorations.
The Zoo asks for a $250 flat fee but they provide assistance, including a cashier. Laura Bisigano, one of the full time volunteers, was the coordinator that made sure the booth was set up to par. Each picture was a $5 charge; the booth raised over $1500 for the zoo.
"The zoo does appreciate it. We're one of the only booths that produced revenue," said Delese. "They assist us in assisting them."
This is the second year Tom Crimmins Realty sponsors Delese's booth. Alexandra and Ryan Crimmins participated in assisting with the booth alongside Delese's family.
"I'm happy Tom said he'd help out this year because it's another family," said Delese. "We make time for this as a family."
Delese believes a factor to this year's success is their location. The booth has been moved a number of three times since it opened. This year the booth resided next to the Pavilion, where the costume contests were being held.
It takes Delese three days to prepare for Spooktacular. The same backdrop and decorations that was built by Delese and Carnesecchi nine years ago have been used every year. Delese claims it is simple stage scenery, but a lot is put into the decorations. The scene is an almost exact copy from the Halloween card that inspired Delese. Next year, Delese says he wants to make the walls scarier and slicker.
Let us know what you thought about Spooktacular!