Haunted House board elects new president
Published 9:09 am Tuesday, March 23, 2004
NILES -- The Niles Haunted House Board of Directors recently held its annual meeting and elected Don Kirkendall as president.
The Niles Haunted House is a nonprofit corporation run by a five-member board that oversees the Haunted House Scream Park and the Niles Children's Fun House.
Michael Kessler was nominated and elected to serve on the board as well.
Kirkendall has been with the project since 1984 when it was still organized by the Niles Jaycees. Although his involvement began as a member of the Niles High School Band Boosters, he eventually was asked to join the Board of Directors and served as treasurer from 1987 to 2004. When Kevin Randall, the former president of the Board, resigned, Kirkendall was elected president by the remaining directors of the organization.
Kirkendall and his wife, Betty, have been longtime Niles residents. He served four years in the U.S. Naval Aviation and retired from Tyler Refrigeration in 1999 after 42 years of employment. He donates his time to his grandchildren and the Niles High School band and has donated 17 gallons of blood the Red Cross. Their two children, Lisa Walters and Lance Kirkendall, still live in the Michiana area.
Kessler has been involved with the project since 1987. He has served as group leader for the St. Mary's Boy and Cub Scouts, Babe Ruth and the Niles Apple Festival. When the vacancy opened on the board, he was the logical candidate due to his longtime devotion to the project.
He and his wife Bridget live in Niles with their two children, Steven and Anthony. He is employed by SEMCO Energy and is involved with Boy and Cub Scouts and the Niles Apple Festival, where he currently serves as President. He is a member of the Michigan Festivals and Events Association and is currently serving a three-year term.