Around Rogers Park: RPBG Donates to Dead on Damen after Vandals Destroy Display

Over the past decade, Dead on Damen has become a Rogers Park Halloween tradition, growing in size and popularity with each passing year. Its annual displays of Halloween ghouls and ghosts on the east side of the 7500-block of North Damen have delighted locals and visitors alike, and have become an integral part of the Halloween season in the neighborhood.

But this year turned out a little differently for Dead on Damen – just one more manifestation of how 2020 has upended normal life. In early October, the display was vandalized, undoing untold hours of work setting up displays, and resulting in thousands of dollars of theft and damage.

Happily for the Rogers Park community, this stupid and cruel act of destruction is not where the story ends. Almost as soon as the vandalism occurred, some of the people who created the display started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to restore it. These community-minded citizens decided to take matters into their own hands and make sure the Halloween Grinch would not succeed in ruining a tradition enjoyed by so many people.

The Rogers Park Builders Association decided to be part of this effort, contributing $100 of RPBG money, and another $150 of individual member contributions.

As a result of these efforts and the money raised by the GoFundMe campaign, the Dead on Damen display was back in its full glory by Halloween Eve, attracting crowds of admirers to its seasonal displays. This is one 2020 story that does not end in tears. It is also a testament to the good we can do when we show a little community spirit and work together for the common good.