EUGENE, Ore. — The undead are walking the Earth. Or should we say running?
No, it's not the zombie apocalypse. The horde of living corpses are part of ShelterCare's "Run For Your Life" 5K fundraiser.
Zombies dotted all across the course to scare runners.
"My job is to scare the 'bejeezus' out of people. And chase people and have fun," says zombie Sadie Samone.
The benefit will support finding housing and mental health services for individuals and families in the area.
The fundraiser is in partnership with "Thrill the World Eugene", a dance group dedicated to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
Samone is a member of Thrill the World Eugene, who has a history with ShelterCare.
"We partner with ShelterCare. All of our practices, there's a dollar donation to practice and all that money goes to ShelterCare. And thus far, we've raised over $60,000."
ShelterCare CEO Michelle Hankes tell us the challenges in serving those who are unhoused.
"Eugene is one of the most challenging places to work with the unhoused. There are multiple reasons for being unhoused. Poverty is the number one reason. But many of those who are unhoused also have mental illness. Whether it is mental illness prior to being unhoused or developing mental illness because of the trauma of being unhoused," said Hankes. "Being unhoused is a very scary thing to do, so when we say 'run for your lives," we're not trying to make that into a joke. We're trying to say 'being unhoused is scary' so let's be scared in a friendly way with zombies, and avoid having people being scared being unhoused."
According to the event organizer, there were 250 participants at the park, including Mea Stout who ran her first 5K.
"Yeah! This is my first 5K. Yeah, I loved all the zombies and everybody participating, screaming, running after me, it was the best first 5K I could ever start with. It was a perfect--" says Stout before being startled by a zombie clown.
Organizers tell us that numbers for the event won't be available until Monday.
For more information about future events or to donate, visit sheltercare.org.