WORCESTER – Hundreds of people will “Dress to Kill” to save lives in Worcester this weekend.
The tenth annual Dressed to Kill Halloween costume party will be held at Worcester’s Union Station on Friday night. The event will support local nonprofit Thin Blue Ride, an organization dedicated to fighting alongside sufferers of cancer.
“The ultimate goal is to get the word out on Thin Blue Ride and what we do. Basically, any law enforcement family or military veterans who are diagnosed or are in treatment for cancer, someone can come to us and say, ‘A friend or family member of mine that’s a police officer is currently in treatment. I would like to see some of the profits go to him and his family while he’s out of work.’ Cancer affects everyone. That’s why we are doing what we do,” Thin Blue Ride founder, Army veteran, Worcester police officer, and three-time cancer survivor Jonathan “JD” Daige said in an interview on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Thin Blue Ride was established in 2014 as a team of military veterans and law enforcement officers riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge to mark the one year anniversary of Daige being cancer-free. Today, the organization continues to raise money to alleviate the financial burden for police officers, veterans and their families dealing with the costs of cancer treatment.
“JD is a friend of mine and he’s a local Worcester cop. His charity is blooming. He’s done several great events. My thought was that if we collaborated together and I know it’s going to his charity and it’s going to a family in need — then that’s really what the event is all about. It was a great fit for us,” said Dressed to Kill organizer Meagan Gregoire.
Gregoire, of Worcester, said that each year the attendance for Dressed to Kill has steadily increased and she expects close to 400 people to attend this year’s party.
“[Dressed to Kill] was started by a close family friend of mine and he said, ‘Let’s do a Halloween party with close family and friends. We did themes in the early years of the party. One year was an 80s theme, heroes and villains, wrestling. It was small enough back then where we could all talk to each other so that we weren’t wearing the same costume,” Gregoire said.
After a few years, Gregoire and her friends took it over and jumped around from venue to venue before landing at the Union Station five years ago.
“Each year, year after year, we kept getting bigger and bigger, and here we are today at Union Station,” Gregoire said.
“Being a local charity, the money goes to people in the city and the neighboring towns right now. I would like to see that grow. With more involvement and social networking, we can reach more people. At the same time, we want to spread the word, get bigger, and get more people invested in early cancer detection for themselves and others. This party should help increase our visibility,” Daige said.
Tickets for Dressed to Kill are $20 at the door and online. Both Gregoire and Daige said that there’s no fundraising goal in mind and they just want as many people to come as possible, have fun, and learn about what Thin Blue Ride is all about.
“We try not to charge too much because people will already be spending so much money at the bar and on their costumes,” Gregoire said, who will be dressing up as a werewolf this year.
There will be a 50/50 raffle and raffle items, and Thin Blue Ride will be selling t-shirts, hoodies and other merchandise to help fundraising efforts.
The highlight of the night, however, will be the costume contest with cash prizes for best costume [and runner-ups], and couple costumes.
Gregoire said, “The best part of the night is that people get so creative with their costumes. It’s really amazing that these people just really enjoy this event and spend a lot of money and time on their costume which is really cool.”
“Whenever a hit movie comes out in the summer, you have an idea what people are going to dress up as. Last year, there were a lot of girls dressed as Harley Quinn from the film Suicide Squad. I think this year there’s going to be a few clowns running around since [Stephen King’s] IT just came out,” Gregoire added.
When asked what costume he would be wearing to the party, Daige said, “I’m not sure yet, but I have a few options. I’m one of those last minute, build-your-own-costume type of guys.”
Brian Powers, a recent graduate of the Worcester Police Academy, will be DJing the event for the sixth year in a row. This year, now that the party is supporting Daige’s charity, Powers expects their best crowd yet.
“When I started out I was a DJ and Meagan asked me to help her out. We gave to charities whatever money we had leftover, but we didn’t decide which charity it would go to until we found out how much was leftover after paying for the party,” Powers said. “The WPD has always supported this event, but now that it’s centered around JD’s charity, I expect it to be really good.”
He added, “I wanted us to work with JD this time because he’s had cancer and he kicked cancer’s ass and now he has this nonprofit. His charity is awesome, we know him and that matters. It’s better that we are focusing the event around a local charity for a cause that’s important to Worcester and the WPD.”
To purchase tickets to Dressed to Kill, click here. The event is 21 plus. Doors Open at 8 PM. Event runs from 8 PM to 1:30 AM.
If you can’t attend Dressed to Kill, but would still like to make a donation, please visit Thin Blue Ride’s donation page.