FAIRFIELD — Ilay Padilla underwent a major transformation Friday afternoon. In a matter of a few minutes, the high school student went from human, to not-so-human – as in the walking dead.
Ilay is vice president of Teens Achieving Change Through Service, one of the groups involved with the Aug. 30 Zombie Run to raise money for scholarships.
When asked in jest if he had a dinner date to follow the makeover, Padilla’s response was, “She’s going to have to like me for me.”
Derek Wadsworth, Taylor Rainey and Salma Srour are members of the Fairfield Youth Commission. They, too, have a role to play in the “run-for-your-life” run. Rainey was part of the group that did a “test run” last year at the Police Activities League center.
“We had so much fun,” she said. “It was really cool.”
Srour is recruiting volunteers for the event. The more, the merrier, she said.
One of the most-fun jobs for volunteers is capturing flags from the runners. Getting their hands on the material gives the zombies permission to “eat” the runner.
Yamilette Mejia, president of Teens Achieving Change Through Service, hopes the run becomes an annual event, she said.
“This is something fun,” she said.
Eric Land and Sheena Kawakamia of Demon Dreamz Haunted House are helping the teens. She handles the makeup. He will be along the run route to scare runners.
Land is set to introduce a new character, Grin, at the Zombie Run. Nyx, his main character, takes its name from the Greek goddess of the night and scared many people at last year’s Demon Dreamz Haunted House, he said.
“We really want to give back to the community,” Kawakamia said.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lawrence Ranches has also joined up with the teens for the Zombie Run. A volunteer at the Police Activities League center, Ranches will don his military uniform for the event. He may be scaring a few people, or launching T-shirts at the competitors.
Zombies are natural fit for teens, said Wadsworth. With the popular TV show “The Walking Dead” getting ready to launch its fifth season, the brain-dead, blood-seeking creatures can bring on thoughts of a postapocalyptic world, he said.
The teens and adults behind the Zombie Run were in the Fourth of July parade in downtown Fairfield.
“We were smiling in costume,” Mejia said. “I think we should have acted more scary. We were the happiest zombies.”
Heather Sanderson, Fairfield Police Activities League coordinator, said the Zombie Run is just one of many ways her teens want to better their community. When they sit down and start to think about college, the expense often catches them off guard.
“Events like this will help (offset the cost),” she said.
The event will have a zombie-infested obstacle course and several physical challenges for the runners as they race.
The race is open to those who are 10 years of age or older. It’s strongly recommend that guardians accompany children. People can sign up from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays at the Fairfield Community Center, 1000 Webster St.
The run gets underway at 10 a.m. at the Fairfield Police Activities League center at 2195 Union Ave. Those who don’t want to fight for their lives can pay the registration fee for a teen volunteer to take their place.
Call 422-6288 or visit the program’s Facebook page at www.facebook.comFairfield-pal for more information.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.