What do homeless animals, motorcycles and a haunted woods have in common? This week’s Community Hero has combined her love for all of them to better the Tri-Cities community.
During October, you will find Starr Beverly scaring people.
“I love Halloween,” Beverly said.
As the owner and operator of the Dam Haunted Woods on Highway 75 in Kingsport, Beverly loves this time of year.
“I always love the creativity,” she said. “I feel like this is a holiday both adults and kids can both enjoy with no strings attached. You don’t have to buy gifts for somebody or please somebody or cook for somebody. You can just dress up and have a good time and be something that you want to be.”
No matter the time of year, she is always focused on cuter, more cuddly, creatures.
“When I used to own a Halloween store, I thought it would be great to have an adoption event,” she said. “So, I called around to all of the animal shelters, and they all told me no, except for Unicoi Animal Shelter.”
Beverly now spends a lot of her time helping the animals at the Unicoi Animal Shelter, even using her haunted trail to collect dog and cat food as admission.
“It’s called the Not-So-Scary Trick-Or-Treating, and the kids can come in and experience the Woods without scare actors. We have friendly children’s music playing throughout the woods, so it’s not scary,” she said.
She holds fundraisers each year, including a Bike Show and block party, raising more than $15,000.
“I feel like you should always give back to your community,” she said. “So, I feel like that’s my way of giving back.”
Beverly says you don’t have to plan an elaborate fundraiser to help a cause. Simply find something you love and help.
“I don’t have children. I feel like this is just my way of showing love and giving back, and trying to be the best person I can be,” Beverly said.
You can nominate a Community Hero by clicking here.