Cole Brennan goes all out when decorating his Haywood Meadow Road yard for special occasions — especially on Halloween.

Haunts and screams are Concord teen’s way of helping kids fighting cancer

By Celeste Katz Marston
October 29, 2023

High school student Cole Brennan is scary good at decorating for the holidays — and this Halloween, he’s using his skills to raise money for kids fighting cancer.  

Cole, 14, is using his decorating skills to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Cole has shrouded the front yard of the family’s Hayward Mill Road home in the most ghoulish of gear, replete with an airborne wicked witch, sinister skeletons and much, much, (MUCH) more.  

Even more dramatic by night thanks to an eerie lighting array, the terrifying tableau prominently features a placard with a QR code visitors can scan to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which assists the families of kids battling life-threatening disease.    

“I’ve always liked decorating. We used to do a bigger Christmas display with more inflatables and stuff, and then Halloween became more of an interest and then [it] kind of went from there,” said Cole, a 14-year-old freshman at Lawrence Academy.  

Skeletons for St. Jude, “the organization we’re working with, is one mainly based off of Halloween displays raising money for kids, because Halloween displays are mostly for kids to come see and they get the most excited,” he said.  

As of 11 days before Halloween, Cole said he’d raised $260, “which is pretty good for our first year.” Family members are sharing the fundraiser on social media to help.  

While Halloween can be one of those celebrations where people think about getting more than giving, “It is a kids’ holiday,” he said.  “You would think that they want to get the opportunity [to] go around and see everything and celebrate Halloween instead of being in the hospital.”