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Haunted house this weekend to help Christopher Goheens

Christopher Goheens, a 10-year-old boy from Peru, cuts the ribbon at the 2010 Plattsburgh Heart Walk with State University of New York at Plattsburgh student Richard Adickes. Both were guest speakers at last year’s event at the PARC Oval.

Christopher Goheens, a 10-year-old boy from Peru, cuts the ribbon at the 2010 Plattsburgh Heart Walk with State University of New York at Plattsburgh student Richard Adickes. Both were guest speakers at last year’s event at the PARC Oval. Photo by Jeremiah S. Papineau.

— Friends and family of 10-year-old Christopher Goheens are coming together this weekend to show him their support.

St. Augustine’s Parish Center, 3035 Main St., will be transformed into more than 20 spooky rooms of Halloween fun as a “Helping Hearts Haunted House Benefit” will be held Friday, Oct. 21, and Saturday, Oct. 22.

The event will be held in honor of Christopher, a fifth grade student at Peru Intermediate School who lives with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition which requires much medical attention and has caused him severe health problems in the past. Christopher’s condition has required him to have routine visits to Boston Children's Hospital to see a specialist, and, last year, caused him to be hospitalized for complications with the disease.

“There’s still a number of bills from last year,” said Christopher’s aunt, Heather Agoney. “And, we’re trying to keep in mind future medical expenses.”

Most recently, Christopher paid a visit to a pulmonologist after he was having pain in his back, said Agoney.

“He was sent home from school two weeks ago ... we were worried he might have a collapsed lung, but everything looks good right now,” said Agoney.

That episode, however, demonstrated how much routine medical care and doctor visits will be a part of Christopher’s foreseeable future.

“We’re trying to keep in mind future medical expenses,” said Agoney, who added event’s like this weekend’s haunted house will help ease the financial burden for Christopher and his family.

“It’s been about six months of work, but we’ve got about 65 volunteers signed up,” she said of this weekend’s event.

The haunted house this weekend will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. both days, with children’s games offered from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Games will include a costume contest, pumpkin painting, cake walk, and bouncy house. There will be also be T-shirts available to purchase. The prices are $12 for short-sleeve and $15 for long-sleeve shirts.

The cost to enter the haunted house will be $5 per person. The event will be held rain or shine.

For more information, contact Agoney at 643-2180; Christopher’s mother, Amy Goheens, at 569-4118; or Christopher’s grandmother, Jane Way, at 569-4514.

Details about the event and updates on Christopher’s condition may also be found by searching for “Helping Hearts for Christopher” on Facebook.

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