Branson Farm Haunted Forest raising money for Grainger County family

The annuel Haunted Forest in Washburn does more than just scare people

WASHBURN (WATE) – The Washburn community is rallying together to help raise money for a family who just lost a loved one due to cancer. They’re putting a Halloween twist on the fundraising thanks to the Branson Farm Haunted Forest. All the money raised from the Haunted Forest will go towards the Winstead family, who just lost Lisa Winstead to cancer.

“This community is here for each other,” said Norman Branson, the host of the Haunted Forest.

This is the 19th year the Bransons have hosted the Haunted Forest. They said they do it for the kids and for Washburn families in need.

“They don’t realize how much they have helped and who they have helped,” said Branson.

Austin Tompkins has dressed up and scared people at the Haunted Forest for nine years. He went to the same school Winstead worked at as a counselor.

“She always talked to us and has been sweet to us. It is hard that she has passed away though,” said Tompkins.

Tompkins is one of 45 volunteers working the Haunted Forest. It costs $3 to walk through. Before Friday night, the Bransons said they already raised more than $2,000 for the family.

“I think its great. The more money. The less they got to spend,” said Tompkins.

This is something that motivates the Bransons to continue this tradition.

“The impact they have made on people’s lives will be unmeasured,” said Branson.

The Bransons said they usually raise $4,000 through this event. They plan to give the family the money next week. The last day to attend the Haunted Forest is Saturday.

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