Scream fest relieves stress, raises money for agencies in Valparaiso

2013-10-12T20:11:00Z 2013-10-12T21:34:11Z Scream fest relieves stress, raises money for agencies in ValparaisoSUSAN EMERY Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 12, 2013 8:11 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Destony Dupriest placed her toes behind a green line, leaned forward and let out a high-pitched shriek.

The 10-year-old Valparaiso girl was among the first people to compete Saturday in a scream contest at the Global Scream Fest in Central Park Plaza.

"It's pretty cool," she said.

The event, which coincided with International Moment of Frustration Scream Day, raised money for Dayspring Women’s Center and the Porter County Family Counseling Center.

“We saw an opportunity with the name Global Scream Fest to connect two organizations that work with people during stressful times, while having a theme that was catchy and fun,” said Rachel Niemi, director of Dayspring.

Niemi and Tracy Traut, executive director of the counseling center, collaborated on the event, which also included live bands, gourmet food and drink vendors, and activities for kids such as face painting.

Traut's son, Matt, served as the official scream recorder, monitoring the decibel meter and writing down names and scores. An iPod shuffle was the prize for the loudest screamer.

Dupriest and her sister, Daysha, 9, both scored above 105 on the meter, while their friend, Destiny White, 8, came in slightly below that.

But the contest wasn't just for kids.

Beverly Shores resident Kate Seaman let out a hearty holler to register a 107.5 on the meter.

She said she came to the event because she wanted to support a good cause, and she was able to do something adults don't often do.

“It's liberating to be able to scream in public,” she said.

Niemi said the money raised would be equally divided between the counseling center and Dayspring, which serves women and children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

She said Dayspring provides women with case management services, meals, toiletries and shower and laundry facilities as they journey toward stability and wholeness.

“Our No. 1 priority is to be a safe haven for these women,” Niemi said.

Traut said graduate school interns provide services at the counseling center and also meet with clients at Dayspring, Moraine House and Housing Opportunities.

Most of the counseling center's clients are working two or three jobs just to make ends meet, and they need affordable care, she said.

“The goal is to make mental health care accessible to the community,” Traut said

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