For years Antonio and Alexia Cardenas have treated and tricked San Leandro residents with elaborate Halloween displays outside their home at 975 Estudillo Street.
This year the civic-minded couple have teamed up with business friends to sponsor a "Hallo-win contest" offering $4,000 in prizes for the individual or team that creates the best design for their 2012 extravaganza.
"We will build it," Antonio Cardenas said. "What we want is to invite the creativity from schools and non-profit organizations in San Leandro."
There will be two prizes: a $3,000 grand prize will go to the winning design that will be built outside the couple's home.
Another $1,000 will be given to a design team drawn at random from all of those who enter the competition.
Both prizes will go directly to the charity or group chosen by the sponsors.
Rules and entry forms are available on the new business web site of their felllow organizers, Frank and Sebastian Cabrera and Sandra Cardona.
The entry period opened May 25th and runs through June 25th. Cardenas wants to give volunteer groups time to come up with:
- a concept and name for their Halloween sculpture;
- a design, sketch or model that would provide dimensions;
- a list of materials; and
- an essay of 500 words or less on why this design should win.
The public will get involved in voting later.
Cardenas said the couple might also invite the winning group to solicit donations outside the family's home, which draws in excess of 2,500 visitors on Halloween night. That could enable the winners to raise more money.
He said the idea for the contest arose in part because he and Alexia disagreed over this year's sculpture.
"I wanted to make a Batmobile and she wanted a UFO landing," he said.
One thing led to another, and they saw how to do some business marketing while raising money for local causes -- and the Hallo-win contest was born.