Zombies invade the streets of downtown Altoona

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Zombies are taking over Altoona… slowly, but surely.  It’s an effort to get the community together to help raise money for local organizations. 
 
“It was one of the stranger requests that I’d had in awhile, but I went to the meeting and learned about all the other agencies and organizations that were beginning to come on board with Zombietown, and we talked a little bit about how that could benefit family services and the teen center,” said Family Services, Inc. Executive Director Lisa Hann.
 
Family Services will hold a food collection at their new teen center on 17th Street and will have kids’ games at Heritage Plaza Downtown. 
 
“We’ll be making stress balls,” Hann said. “They’ll be small brains that the kids will make and toss at the zombies and then get to take them home.”
 
They are not the only ones collecting donations.  There was also a blood drive at the Railroaders Museum until four o’clock Friday, held by the American Red Cross. 
 
About a block away is St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was another food drive, running from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.  It benefits the Archway Ministries Food Pantry.
 
“The food drop off here is an opportunity to collect some more items for that food pantry that is really growing,” said Father Josh Shipman. “The need is growing and they’re just expanding exponentially and always need some extra help.”
 
The church also hosted a movie in the park Friday night for those who did not go to the concert at the Railroaders Museum. 
 
“It’s really been educational and interesting to see how they were able to pull a lot of new people to the table,” Hann said, “people coming together that don’t normally work together on these kind of projects.”
 
“The business I’m in is community,” said Shipman, who is also a member of the Downtown Altoona Business Community. “Fostering community, nurturing community and growing community, and to see so many different people, whether it’s episcopal churches or the railroad museum, just so many different kinds of communities coming together to form one kind of community of support that is Altoona.”
 
For a list of all the Zombietown, USA events, head to http://zombietownusa.com/ and click the “events” tab at the top of the page.

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