The Ghoulwill Ball charms hundreds of Mainers every year with the perfect brew of costume creativity and a funky dance party courtesy of Motor Booty Affair.

“Because of your purchases and support of this event, you are helping your neighbors find jobs,” said Goodwill Northern New England’s community relations director, Kimberly Curry, speaking to a crowd of people dressed as everything from a pink flamingo to the patient in the game Operation.

Besides being a wicked good time, the seventh annual Ghoulwill Ball on Oct. 21 raised $15,000 for the Goodwill Northern New England’s Job Connection program.

Dressed as a lumberjack, Kim Foskett, team leader of the Greater Portland Job Connections program, spoke about how the program helps Mainers break down barriers to employment, whether they are mental health issues, substance abuse, homelessness or lack of reliable transportation or childcare.

“We work holistically to help with any barriers they have,” Foskett said. “Our program is funded by proceeds from Goodwill and private donations.”

“Some programs have strict funding requirements, and an event like this helps us fill in the gaps,” said Trendy Stanchfield, director of mission investment. “And we are a completely sold-out crowd tonight.”

With 240 costumed guests roaming the first floor of The Portland Club, judging the costume contests was no easy undertaking for judges Blake Hayes and Eva Matteson from Coast 93.1.

Best Group Theme went to candy witches Mary Wratten, Samantha Mulkern (a gingerbread house witch with candy glued to her face) and April Mulkern, all of Biddeford.

Best Use of Goodwill Finds went to “Golden Girls” Bryan Lord, Andrew Furman, Kevin McCarthy and Adam Smith, who donated their $125 gift card prize back to Goodwill.

Lego couple Joshua Starkey and Jessica Wade Starkey won the judges’ Best Overall Grand Prize. And, in an “Everything Is Awesome” moment, they donated their $250 gift card back to Goodwill.

Determining the winner of the People’s Choice Award was a scream-fest requiring several rounds and eliminations, as the Wizard of Oz characters, stewardesses, Target ladies and Harlequin clowns departed. It was a surreal moment when a towering Grim Reaper was wiped out before artsy Girl with a Pearl Earring. But, in the end, it was the Clark Insurance guys Jeff Lind, Josh Fifield and Josh Ellis who took the People’s Choice. With their lively recreation of a Beastie Boys album cover, these not-so-Beastie Boys had reminded the crowd how to fight for the right to party.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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