In July 2006, Alex Lohman grieved with long-time friend and employee Jennifer Robinson when she lost her son to complications of epilepsy.
Now Lohman is doing his part, along with numerous other volunteers, to raise awareness as well as funds for research and services for sufferers of epilepsy.
Lohman is the owner of 13th Street Morgue, a mortuary-themed haunt park located at 410 Houston School Road, close to Ovilla Road and Interstate 35. The attraction is near Reindeer Manor, a haunted house run by the Boy Scouts of America since 1974.
On Saturday, March 22, 13th Street Morgue will open its doors for tours from 8-10 p.m., with pizza served and live music performed by the Ghost Surfers in the theater from 10-11.
“Where most houses might have a whole series of disconnected rooms, ours is based on a back story about a funeral director who was killed by a madman around Christmas time. Everything is based on a 1930s funeral home, including the characters, staff, props and the way everything is decorated,” Lohman said, noting the attraction includes an authentic, turn-of-the century embalming table and a 1920s embalming machine.
“The Ghost Surfers is a beach band that plays music – mostly instrumental – along the lines of Dick Dale or the Bellaires type of music,” Lohman said.
After the death of Robinson’s son, Lohman and others formed Team Lucas and have participating in an annual stroll at Dallas Zoo that raises funds for the Epilepsy Foundation.
“People sponsor you to walk and the money you raise is donated by your team,” Lohman said, noting their team is named after Robinson’s son, Lucas Dean Robinson.
“Last year’s event was a great success and we had a blast doing it,” Lohman said, saying that he and others wanted to do more and decided to open 13th Street Morgue to raise even more money.
“Our efforts won’t be able to bring Lucas back, but we can help other people move forward with this disease,” Lohman said.
“Hopefully, all the effort will help other people,” he said.
All proceeds go to the Epilepsy Foundation, which will use a percentage toward a summer camp for children suffering from the disease.
“The camp benefits the kids, as well as the family members and parents of these kids,” Lohman said, noting the camp provides a way for those in similar situations to make connections and provide support.
“I remember when Jennifer told me about the first time she met other parents (of children with epilepsy),” he said, saying she learned she wasn’t the only one dealing with the issue.
A main focus for the foundation is education, he said.
“Education is so important. There are still so many that don’t know anything about this disease,” Lohman said.
Lohman credits others for their help with the upcoming event.
“Everyone is so willing to volunteer their time for this. If we can help, we’re more than happy to do it,” he said, noting that, in addition to the 13th Street Morgue staff volunteering their time, Venture Crew 3, co-ed Boy Scouts ages 14 to 20, will provide security and run the grounds for the night.
The cost of admission is $15.
Staff members from the Epilepsy Foundation will be on hand to answer any questions.
E-mail Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org