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31 October 2001

Laurel Heights Decks the Halls for Halloween

From the "Office of Count Barcula" to the School of Medicine Dean's Office eerie portrayal of Laurel Hill Cemetery - complete with a heart beat heard inside a mock coffin -- employees at Laurel Heights showed their Halloween spirit this week.

Some 26 departments entered the door-decorating contest, an unprecedented participation level for the traditionally low-key Laurel Heights campus, according to Red Mangio, volunteer and outreach coordinator for Empact! Presents.

"The contest is creating a friendly competitive spirit and excitement among departments as well as creating an awesome sense of community," he says. "This is an excellent example of how Empact! and its wonderful volunteers try to balance our workplace, create community and promote the 'joys' of working at UCSF."

A panel of six judges walked the halls on Tuesday taking in the sights and sounds of screams, flying bats, tombstones, skeletons, spider webs and even a take off on "Bates Motel," which played the Alfred Hitchcock classic horror film "Psycho."

The Medical Center's Design and Construction office demonstrated their patriotism, covering the door to Suite 115 with a Halloween-inspired American flag that had pumpkins replacing the stars.

Real Estate Services in Suite 102 poked fun of San Francisco's surreal estate market offering passersby an opportunity to rent haunted office space from them.

And it took teamwork to transform the entrance of Vice Chancellor Steve's Barclay's Suite 305 to the "Office of Count Barcula," which featured flashing pumpkin lights, a rat drinking from a bowl of blood-soaked eyeballs and spooky sound effects.

"It's a vision of our eclectic and dysfunctional selves," joked Adrian Sooy.

Participants competed for "Bear Hug" certificates of varying amounts of $100, $75, $50 and two $25 gift certificates. All participants will receive a bowl of cookies for their effort, according to Susan Garritson, who organized the activity for just the Center for Health and Community last year and then worked with a handful of Empact! volunteers to expand the contest to the entire building this year.

"After we put up a few flyers, it just took on a life of its own," says Garritson, who credits Mangio and the handful of Empact! volunteers for the successful contest. "We're already making plans for next year."

Results will be announced today when the Laurel Heights Halloween festivities start at noon in the View Café, located on the second floor. The event also will include a costume contest and live entertainment.

Judges for the door contest were Andrew Boettcher, Cindy Fenwick, Georgia Hansen, Ivan Quesada, Oscar Rosas and Alma Sisco-Smith. Halloween events continue today at UCSF sites. For details, visit the Empact web site.





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