Get a free scream this Halloween |

Get a free scream this Halloween

The Silver Lining Foundation is hoping this weekend to scare the pants off the area’s young and young at heart.

The Benedict-Forstmann Silver Lining Ranch, just east of Aspen, will host its first haunted house, free to anyone game for a fright, tonight, Saturday and Sunday.

“This is our first holiday at the ranch and we wanted to celebrate it with everyone who helped it become a reality,” said Andrea Jaeger, founder of the Silver Lining Foundation.

Since July, the Silver Lining Ranch has been the permanent headquarters for the foundation, which provides “positive lifetime experiences and a safe haven” for children with terminal illnesses.

Started 10 years ago, the foundation has made it possible for thousands of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses to go skiing, horseback riding, rafting and even attend championship tennis matches.

Before the Silver Lining Ranch was built, the children were lodged in area hotels. The ranch has enabled the foundation to expand its programs and also allowed for more community outreach.

“It’s made all the difference in the world having a permanent facility. We’ve been dreaming about this for a long time,” Jaeger said. “Now we can do things like family retreats, and also do more for the seniors and kids in this community.”

An annual haunted house is just the first step. The Silver Lining Foundation also plans to host yearly Christmas and Easter parties, as well.

“Especially in Aspen, where there are so many great charities, we wanted to do something different to show our appreciation,” Jaeger said. “Instead of throwing a dinner where you have to put on the black tie, we wanted to do something fun to say, `Thank you.'”

And don’t let the admission price trick you. Jaeger and company talked Rocky Mountain Connections, a professional special events company, into donating its time, staff, decorations and fog machines to put together a world-class affair.

“We wanted it to be great, not just the staff, or Heidi and me, hiding around corners and jumping out to say, `Boo,'” Jaeger said. “It’s going to be amazing.”

There will be no on-site parking at the ranch itself, but a free shuttle service, donated by CLS Transportation, will run between the ranch and the Rio Grande Parking Garage from 5:55 to 8 p.m. each night. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

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