SCARE for a CURE Blog

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vampire Blood Drive—The life you save may be your own!

The Vampires of Blood Ritual and SCARE for a CURE will be collecting victims for a blood drive benefiting The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas.

Saturday, October 17th

Alamo Draft House, 1120 S. Lamar
Opening weekend of "Where the Wild Things Are"

All donors will receive Blood Ritual neck-bite marks by one of our professional make up artists and will also be entered into a drawing to win a pair of tickets to Blood Ritual and a limited edition Blood Ritual t-shirt.

Make an appointment online at Walk-ups welcome!

We'll find you and get your blood one way or another...

SCARE for a CURE and Austin Ghost Tours host: the Vampire Ghost Tour and Bar Crawl!

Join an army of vampires on a tour through downtown Austin to hear ghastly tales of murder and betrayal and discover the ghosts and lost souls that lurk in the shadows of the Warehouse District and beer-soaked sidewalks of 6th street!

Thursday, Oct 8th
7:30 pm
Start at: Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, 303 Red River
End at: Casino El Camino (see after party)
Participants are STRONGLY encouraged to dress as vampires!!

This tour is for ages 21+ with ID required. Ghosts won't be the only spirits you raise!

Tickets are $30 and all proceeds go to SCARE for a CURE. Reserve your spot on the tour at Space is limited, so get your tickets now!

Vampire Ghost Tour and Bar Crawl After Party!

Too scared to join the Ghost Tour? Well, put on your most fearless cape and sharpest fangs and join all the SCARE for the CURE Volunteers and Vampires of Blood Ritual for a night of hell raising spirits.

Bloody Drink Specials! Costume Contest! Raffle Prizes!
Thursday, Oct. 8th
8:30 pm until the sun turns us to dust
Casino El Camino, 517 E. 6th St.

This event is for is ages 21+ with ID required.

Friday, September 25, 2009

New events from some of SCARE for a CURE's scary friends

If you love SCARE for a CURE, Halloween, and all things scary, you might want to check out these two upcoming productions by friends of SCARE.

Medieval Macabre
The Curtain Theater
Friday and Saturday evenings, 9 p.m.: September 25-26, October 2-3, and October 9

Medieval MacabreOn a stormy night in mid 1600's England, we find two travelers caught away from home. They seek refuge at a country estate on their way to London, where they meet a gracious host who offers them shelter for the night. During the course of the evening, a challenge is issued between the men with a sum to be settled upon the victor. The wager: Can literature be frightening?

This fast paced play will take you on a visual trip through time, exploring plays, stories, poetry and music. Our goal is to entertain you, scare you, and show you that—although it might have been written by some old crusty dead guys who talk funny—it can still send a chill up your spine!

SCARE volunteers get 2 for 1 tickets at the door on October 3!

Tickets may be purchased on line via or at the door (Cash Only)
Ticket Costs: General Admission $13, Students $9, Seniors over 65 $9, ACoT Members $9

For more information, visit

Pendarks Museum of the Macabre
Austin Drama Club, 1612 E. 7th Street
Saturdays and Sundays through October 25th, 9-10:30 pm

Richard Bateman presents a fun, interactive theater experience. See Pendark's collection of horrific artifacts, listen to tales of the macabre, explore the mysteries of the mind, and experience the magic and mysticism of Pendark. Featuring the delightful and edgy humor of his new assistant, acquired on his trip to England: Madge!

For more information, visit

Home stretch push! SCARE for a CURE needs YOU this weekend!

Here's the details:

Work days will now take place at the NEW haunt site called The Bunker at 7400 Coldwater Canyon (take City Park Rd. to Bridge Point Parkway, turn left and then right onto Coldwater Canyon). [view map]

Moving walls - photo by Debbie Cerda
Here is the schedule for this weekend:

Friday 9/25, 4 pm - 10 pm
Saturday 9/26, 9 am – 6 pm
Sunday 9/27, 10 am – 6pm

Please come out to help even if you can only work for a few hours. There will be plenty of things to do for ALL skill levels…you might even learn a skill or two.

Want to earn FREE tickets to Dress Rehearsal?

The first 25 volunteers to work 20 hours in the next two weeks will get 2 tickets to the Dress Rehearsal of Blood Ritual. Be the first to see this year's most extreme haunt! Come out and help!

Something that would be a big help would be to RSVP if you’re able. If you can’t RSVP we totally understand—please don’t let this prevent you from coming out at the last minute. It just helps us get a handle on food and work crews. RSVP at

Thank you to everyone for your time and support in this fun event benefitting an important cause in our community!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


And what a rush it's been ... quite a few valiant haunters have made their way into the LAB in the last few weekends, and I believe that almost without fail I've had tasks to offer them. Even more amazing, these tasks were getting done!

Elmo has been finish-sculpted; laid up with water clay as a stand-in for the detail layer of the mold; had both sides of the mother mold made in plaster; and then popped open and de-clayed (one side at a time) so now we have a full silicone mold of the sculpt. And now the sculpt is no more; removed, to be re-used later for another monster at another time.

Maria's skulls have come to beautiful fruition and have been molded in silicone; next up, one or more positives, with the possibility of vacuum or other molding for finals to be put into use as decorations.

The vacuum former oven has been eluding perfection, but Corey did some valiant work on it and it's so almost there; I'm tempted, though, to just put a propane burner into it. Fire is something that is most reliably hot.

A bunch of people have poked at the cable-crimping task for the Vortex Tunnel (Maria's tag-alongs, Anna, Yvonne, and probably others) and we are now ready to do the final assembly on the vortex's spinning section.

Jean made the hoops for the inner cage, and I'm in the process of building the bridge. So close!

The roto molder is going through final experiments on belts to drive it, but since Baby Leroy is now fully molded (though I want to poke the mother mold shell a bit more) we can spin up a roto mold test any day now.

Becca (right?) and family, and Nora, and others, have been working on baby parts, which will have to find their way into production soon too. Kenny (I believe) has been doing amazing work in form to set up the shapes for larger body parts, too.

Eric has been rebuilding some fog machines (with built in chillers) that came from a donation, but were broken; he's cannibalizing lesser machines to bring these valuable devices to life, and with good success. He also built a Key of Gabriel sculpt and has put up the mold around it; next step, removing the mold, repairing it (I did mention mold release, I know I did), and then duplicating. Eric has also helped with Elmo, and other hands-on tasks.

Marina (with some help from Nora) did fabulous work on aging a bit of furniture and I can't wait to turn them loose on more things; Marina also donated her arm for a prop (half molded now, soon to be finished and duplicated), and has been helping in various aspects at the lab as well.

Decorative books are in progress via Marla.

Some of us now have a concrete plan for the stabbing (Eric, Marina, and I had a quiet moment somehow).

Goodness, Nora and other people whose names escape me did work on duplicating some ceramic insulators, to good effect. I now have a 15-gang mold to do the final duplicates!

Ben wired up the gore pump, and it works beautifully.

What else.... hmmmm....

I'm sure I missed a handful of names and projects but, as you can see, we have been busy. And there is still stuff to do, NOT TO MENTION, the need to work at the Bunker and install all of these wondrous things there... and more.

Not only are we making props for this year's haunt, we are making TOOLS and developing SKILLS to make later years even more exciting and dramatic. Thanks guys, y'all are great!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

SCARE for a CURE Needs YOUR Help this Weekend!

Here's the details:

The move to the new site and the rain has severely put us behind schedule but if we can have a great turnout this weekend we can put things back on track.

We have moved everything from our old site and additional storage location…it’s all at the NEW site.

Props - photo by antsnax on flickr
Work days will now take place at the NEW haunt site called The Bunker at 7400 Coldwater Canyon (take City Park Rd. to Bridge Point Parkway, turn left and then right onto Coldwater Canyon).

Here is the schedule for this weekend:

Friday 9/18, 4 pm - 10 pm
Saturday 9/19, 9 am – 6 pm
Sunday 9/20, 10 am – 6pm

Please come out to help even if you can only work for a few hours. There will be plenty of things to do for ALL skill levels…you might even learn a skill or two.

Something that would be a big help would be to RSVP if you’re able.

If you can’t RSVP we totally understand—please don’t let this prevent you from coming out at the last minute. It just helps us get a handle on food and work crews.


Thank you to everyone for their time and support in this fun event benefitting an important cause in our community!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tips for the Sharp-Minded Volunteer

Volunteers at The Bunker - photo by antsnax on flicker

Whether you’re working in “The Bunker” or “The Lab,” following this advice from our friendly neighborhood police detective will help us stay organized as well as keeping you safe! For information on volunteering, please email

RSVP when you can (but don’t let that stop you from just showing up if you can’t).

Wear good shoes. No sandals!

Bring work gloves if you’ve got ’em. (We have plenty if you don’t.)

If you bring your own tools, label them! We have duct tape and markers on site.

Respect other people’s tools and equipment.

Don’t wander away from the work site or pass any “Do not cross” yellow tape.

If you don’t know, ASK.

Be sure to sign in when you get there and sign out before you leave.

I have not spotted any poison ivy yet so long pants are not mandatory, just suggested.

Bring a water bottle if you have one. Keep it filled.

Have FUN!

The work day isn’t over until everything is cleaned up and put away! Please don’t just walk off leaving tools and materials lying around. It makes more work for those staying late.

Thanks and I hope to see you this weekend!!!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Relocation Complete!

Moving Day - photo by antsnax on flickr
Truckloads of flats ready for the move

Moving Day - photo by antsnax on flickr
Over 40 volunteers helped relocate SCARE walls, materials, and props to the new location on the uncompleted Britannia Manor property

It was a rugged weekend of hauling, stacking, and tarping stuff in the rain and mud, but the relocation is officially complete—all of our flats, lumber, and other random bits of debris are at our new home.

We had three crews working over the weekend—in addition to me and the rest of the unruly shaven apes hauling flats and 2x4s around in trailers, Edwin presided over people working on various FX projects up at the Lab and we also had a team at the new site assembling floor grid, building shelves, organizing and stacking stuff, pulling nails and screws out of lumber, and generally doing the initial grunt work that's not very entertaining but is essential before we can get to the fun stuff. I cannot begin to express my thanks to all the volunteers who showed up to help us grind this work out.

Fun stuff starts now! Walls go up this week, then ceilings, then the interior finishing work can begin!

FX Update - Scary Blood

I'm still stalling on doing a comprehensive update post (so of course it gets harder the more we get done before I post it)... but right now our Blood Supply is on my mind.

This year we are making our own blood from raw components—FD&C food colorings, water, thickener, opacifier, and a small amount of surfactant... all very safe and inexpensive ingredients, though not necessarily recommended for eating (the surfactant could give you the trots something fierce, I think).

I have come up with three basic formulas so far, that I've been getting feedback on and will be dialing in to a final recipe over the next week or two. There is the "Bright Blood" which looks the most like fresh blood (I know, we had Erik drip on a card for us after he poked his finger); there is "Dramatic Blood" which is darker and more menacing; and then there is "Dark Blood" which is nearly scab color and will be mixed up thick and gloopy.

The question that people always have about the blood is... will it wash off of my hands, and out of my clothes?

Being composed almost entirely of Red #40 (think: cherry cool-aid) you would expect it to stain like nobody's business, and at first blush this seems to be true.

My hands were covered in blood up to my wrists the other day and a first wash in the sink hardly touched the color at all—dry skin from sculpting in clay soaked up the pigment like a thirsty sponge. But when I showered after the lab that night, my hands were perfectly clean!

The trick, I think, is to sweat some, which helps push the pigment out of your pores and skin. Failing a good workout, you can prepare yourself to be blood-proof by moisturizing your skin before contact; or, to be more extreme, there is a product used by sculptors ("Gloves in a Bottle", I'm getting some from Armadillo Clay to test today) that my be even better.

To remove the stain from dry skin, I would recommend makeup remover, or even something like olive oil, which will leave you salad-fresh after! Olive oil, and then a gentle facial cleanser, is what I used when I did clowning, and it removes the makeup better than anything.

"Enough about skin—what about my fine linen suit? It's soaked in blood!"

First—don't wear your nice clothes to our haunt; we will not be kind to them, and even the Green Groups may brush up against something nasty by accident.

But if you do, the blood washes out, at least from cotton.

I soaked one of my SCARE for a CURE t-shirts in blood and let it sit for two days to set (note: don't do that; wash immediately). Then I put it in a small laundry load and washed it on cold... afterwards... stained! Oh no!

So I ran it again on hot and it came out as clean as it started, no hint of red, pink, or even fuchsia.

I suspect it may stain wool, and I need to test wash-ability on things like silk, rayon, wool, and so on still (any volunteers of white fabrics of different types?), but I suspect it will wash out of most anything (in hot water, it seems)—just like our last blood recipe!

I credit this success to the soap additive I use in the formula (it helps it flow and keeps it from beading, and makes the blood its own pre-wash!)—Synthropol, used by tie-dyers to help rinse out excess die from their garments.

I haven't done a scientific test of with and without the additive, so this is just my hunch, but I'm good with the voodoo for now.

Now, would anyone be interested in buying quarts of high-quality stage blood, custom made by and for SCARE for a CURE, for $10 a quart? All proceeds go to the haunt!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lightning Strikes at La Zona Rosa 7 pm TONIGHT

Special screening of SyFy Channel's Lightning Strikes starring Jarrett Crippen (and some guy named Kevin Sorbo)

Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm
La Zona Rosa, 612 W. 4th Street (at Rio Grande just west of Nueces)
$5 recommended donation (cash or check, no credit cards)

  • Autograph session with Jarrett Crippen (aka Deputy Johnson aka The Defuser)
  • The Defuser memorabilia for purchase
  • Raffle and silent auction items including guest appearance on Haunted Report's Ghost Hunting and Milkshakes, original artwork, gift certificate to Austin Ginger Man, massage session, and more!
  • Concessions: Hot Dogs, Frito Pies, Popcorn and Pizza
All proceeds from above benefit SCARE for a CURE.

The Austin Cookie Lounge will have cookies for sale We will also have representatives from Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas to talk about their programs, as well as a few of their calendar models.

What better way to spend a rainy weekend night than with us! Bring your sleeping bag, picnic blankets, pillows, camp chairs for seating.

Most importantly spread the word and bring your friends!

Follow us on Twitter @SCAREforaCURE #SCARE


Volunteer Opportunities This Weekend

There are several volunteer opportunities for SCARE for a CURE this weekend, so here's a brief summary:

9 am - 4 pm:
The bulk of people will be fetching and hauling materials from storage this morning, and that's vital and necessary work. Meet at Comfort Suites near 183 and Anderson Mill Rd. tomorrow at 9 AM rain or shine, to move Creepshow stuffout to the new site. Dress appropriately! How to find it - Address: 13681 N Highway 183, Austin, TX

11 am From there moving on to the site to unload -Richard Garriott's new uncompleted Britannia Manor 7400 Coldwater Canyon Dr., just off 2222. You turn at City Park Rd. You can text Debbie at 512/785-6813 if you want to know where we folks are.

Lunch at 1 pm, be sure to stop for a restroom break before coming out to the build site.

10 am to 2 pm (or later) Open Lab Weekend
-- Drop on by or give EDWIN a text message at 512.809-8918 to make sure he's at the lab.

7 pm Lightning Strikes Benefit at La Zona Rosa - We will need just a few extra folks to help with set up and manning the concessions table, so please contact Debbie at or text me (please include your name) at 512/785-6813.

10 am - 4 pm Build Site 7400 Coldwater Canyon Dr.
10 am to 2 pm (or later) Open Lab Weekend
11 am COSTUMES - Please come with your colored pencils, drawing paper, sewing machines, and any fabric, patterns, notions or ideas you want to donate. Please also bring any clothes or shoes you want to donate. We'll have a cast list, character list, measurements, and a bunch of clothes to start with, and we can begin designing the pieces we'll need to build or acquire. Anyone who can DRAW and SKETCH is needed and welcome! Contact Robin C. McShaffry for details and location.

Need more details? Contact the contact person listed, check the emails sent out to the Build GoogleGroup, or email me at If you aren't on the Build group but would like to be, please send me an email. Keep in mind that it is a high traffic list, but there's some great ideas and projects shared.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Back to Our Foundation

If you are new to Austin, you may not be familiar with the haunted house that has inspired the SCARE for a CURE team. For those of you who didn't have an opportunity to make it through Britannia Manor during its seasonal runs 1988-1994, our just want a trip down nostalgia lane, check out this great video - "The World's Most Famous House".

This short documentary of the most elaborate house of all-time was filmed and directed by Patrick Neese and David Neff. David is founder and creator of The Haunted Report, the haunted industry's first and only independent news blog. Their motto is "If it scares the crap out of people we cover it." David is also the Director of Hype for Mansion of Terror (MoT), another local haunt. Stay tuned for more details about how MoT and SCARE for a CURE are ganging up to guarantee the most terrifying and scariest Halloween EVER!


SCARE for a CURE Announces Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas as Charitable Recipient for 2009

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2009

(Austin, TX) - Now in its fourth year, SCARE for a CURE is gearing up for a fantastically frightful Halloween season by offering an interactive haunted adventure in Central Texas. This year’s theme is “Blood Ritual,” and will take place October 23-25 and 28-31 in northwest Austin. Guests can expect a full contact adventure as they are guided through. No two groups have the same experience, as the decisions and actions of each group affect the outcome.

is pleased to announce that this year’s beneficiary of proceeds for their two week event is the Breast Cancer Resource Centers (BCRC) of Texas. The BCRC provides a caring network of breast cancer survivors to answer questions and provide support. Their certified patient navigators provide one-on-one support for women with breast cancer from the time of diagnosis all the way through recovery, addressing their treatment options, insurance issues, and any other questions they may have. Additional services offered by this grassroots organization range from a lending library to various support groups. Barb Formichelli, BCRC’s Director of Marketing and Events Development, had this to say about the selection of their organization as the 2009 recipient:

"The Breast Cancer Resource Center is honored to be one of the benefiting charities for SCARE for a CURE once again. This event is such a wonderful example of teamwork and community involvement, and has become bigger and better every year. We look forward to working with Norma, Jarrett, and their incredible volunteers - what a great way to wrap up Breast Cancer Awareness Month!"

Past beneficiaries have included The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Elks Lodge #201 of Austin as well as four Austin area high school students who were affected by cancer. These students received scholarships in 2008 towards their college tuition.

For more information, contact

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SCARE for a CURE Announces New Location at Britannia Manor

The Austin Elks Lodge was not large enough to contain the bone-chilling adventure that is BLOOD RITUAL! So it’s moving to a new location that brings one of Austin’s premiere haunted houses back to its roots.

This year’s SCARE for a CURE will take place on the grounds of Richard Garriott’s uncompleted new Britannia Manor off City Park Road in northwest Austin.

The Defuser and Lord British
Jarrett "The Defuser" Crippen and Richard "Lord British" Garriott unite for charity

That’s right—SCARE for a CURE has moved!

While we are eternally grateful to the Elks at Austin Lodge #201, our event this year is so terrifying, so spectacular, that we had no choice but to find a location equally steeped in myth and legend! Austin’s greatest interactive haunted adventure will take place where it all began.

Are you ready?

Join a team of paranormal researchers to explore the mysteries and horrors of Dunstan Castle. Experience a twisted tale of demons, blood-lust, and a vampire's quest for world domination. Do you have the courage and wits to save humanity, or will you end up as a snack at their victory party?

From 1988-1994 Britannia Manor was famous for hosting the most elaborate haunted house in the country. Many of the volunteers who worked on Britannia Manor transferred Richard's ideas as well as their talent and enthusiasm to support the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin by creating Wild Basin's Haunted Trails from 1996 to 2005. In 2007, many of those volunteers came together again for SCARE for a CURE haunted house to support local charities.

For more information, contact

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SCARE for a CURE Hosts Special Screening of “Lightning Strikes” starring SCARE Director Jarrett Crippen

SCARE for a CURE is proud to announce that our director, Jarrett Crippen, aka “The Defuser,” stars in an original SyFy Movie Lightning Strikes which premieres Saturday, September 12, on the SyFy Channel at 8 pm Central Standard Time (CST). A special screening to benefit SCARE for a CURE will be held this Saturday at La Zona Rosa at 612 W. 4th Street, in Austin, Texas. Doors open at 7 pm, with a recommended donation of five dollars. La Zona Rosa is an all-ages venue, but the recommended rating is PG-13 for this film.

Lightning Strikes” was filmed in Sofia, Bulgaria and directed by Gary Jones, who also directed “Boogeyman 3” as well as episodes of “Xena Warrior Princess” and “Hercules: The Incredible Journey”. Jones also contributed his special effects services to “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness.” Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) stars in this horror film, and Jarrett Crippen plays Deputy Johnson. In regards to working with Kevin Sorbo, Jarrett stated in his blog, “Kevin was a great mentor and made me feel relaxed.”

Austin Police Department's Detective Crippen as the Defuser was winner of the second season of the Sci Fi channel's Who Wants to Be a Superhero? In 2008, Det. Crippen was provided the opportunity to travel to Bulgaria and work with Kevin Sorbo in this horror film about a small Indiana town plagued by a creature of living lightning. He did so immediately after wrapping a successful 2008 haunt season for SCARE, raising $10,000 towards scholarships for local high school students affected by cancer.

SCARE for a CURE is an Austin-based organization that raises money for local cancer charities, "one SCREAM at a time!" Each year we produce Austin's only extreme, full contact, interactive haunted house adventure that is guaranteed to chill the depths of your soul.

This year’s theme for the interactive haunted adventure is “Blood Ritual,” and the event will take place in Austin, Texas, on October 23-25 and 28-31. Guests can expect an unique experience as they are guided through an interactive haunt. No two groups have the same experience, as the decisions and actions of each group affect the outcome.

For more information, visit the SCARE for a CURE web site at or contact


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Despite being sidelined for a bit by poison ivy-related issues, I managed to put in some time helping measure things at the new SCARE site so we can figure out how our script, plot, and room layouts are going to change. I also helped get stuff moved from the Elks' Lodge to our fabulous new locale.

Out with the old...

old location - photo by Matt Pinsonneault

Looks better than it did when we moved in; everyone did a fabulous job with cleanup. Hard to imagine that area full of piles of wall flats, power tools, and various bits of gruesome debris.

In with the new...

new location - photo by Matt Pinsonneault

It's really, really awesome to have everything moved across town to the new build site. Now that the move is behind us we can get started with the build next weekend!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

FX Nathan's Elmo

Just a quick post—spent a bunch of time I would have used sculpting to help orchestrate the shift to the new location... but am getting some good work in as well.

To tide you over, a video of the Elmo demon spinning:

Will be done soon—just need to add pores and do some texture cleanup before I create the mold.

Friday, September 4, 2009

SCARE Work Day Saturday, September 5

When: Saturday Sept. 5th, 9am till 4pm - FREE Lunch at 1pm

Where: Starting at the Austin Elks Lodge #201, 700 Dawson Rd.

Details: We will be doing a lot of lifting and moving. SCARE will provide gloves, water, Gatorade, sunscreen and bug spray as needed. Please wear shoes or boots, no sandals. I suggest jeans or pants. A ball-cap or hat would also be handy. It is preferred that you bring your own refillable sports bottle of water. We will provide
water but we are trying to minimize the amount of trash and recycling we need to pack out.

Yes, the rumors are true. SCARE has found a new home, a better home. A home that will shock and amaze you!!!

This Saturday is your first opportunity to see the new site. You will not be disappointed. But we have lots of work to do and we need your help.

We have to get EVERYTHING to the new site A.S.A.P.!

If you have access to a truck or trailer, or any vehicle that can pull a trailer, please bring it. The sooner we get everything over there, the sooner we can get started on building the most amazing haunt Austin has ever seen.

Please contact me at if you have any questions. If you will need to arrive any time after 10 am, please text or call me at 512/785-6813 cell to find out where we are at.

Thank you again for your support, and we hope to see you this weekend. We expect to be out there as well from 9-4 pm Sunday and Monday.

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