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State Honoree

William Chessor

Tennessee

William Chessor, 14, of Centerville, Tenn., an eighth-grader at Hickman County Middle School, designed a haunted house fund-raiser that has raised more than $6,000 for the building of an animal shelter. When William learned that the humane society was struggling to afford an animal shelter, he and his brother suggested the haunted house as a means to raise funds. William had been interested in the design of haunted houses for years, and thought that he could design a very successful one. So, he located a vacant building and received permission to renovate it. He recruited a team of adult and teen volunteers to help build and operate the house, and to serve as actors for the performances. In the three years that William has sponsored the haunted house, he has raised $6,000 after expenses, which not only will help build an animal shelter but also helps feed and vaccinate foster animals in his county. “The money raised has taken homeless animals off the street when they would surely have otherwise died,” said William proudly.