October 30, 2011

Society Notebook: Watching their ghoulish figures

Ghoulwill Ball-goers admire one another's fiendishly clever costumes.

By Avery Yale Kamila akamila@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

Christmas has its sweaters and St. Patrick's Day has its green garb, but no holiday seems to inspire crafty couture the way Halloween does. This seasonal creativity was on full display during the second annual Ghoulwill Ball, held Oct. 22 at Port City Music Hall in Portland.

click image to enlarge

Grand Prize winners Stacey Pasternak and Shiran Pasternak, dressed as Cheetara and Lion-O from the “ThunderCats” animated TV series.

Photos by Avery Yale Kamila/Staff Writer

click image to enlarge

Best Group Theme winners and Old Orchard Beach residents Cindy Curran, Michael Clavet and Miranda Rooney, dressed as Blue Man Group.

Additional Photos Below


TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE to Avery Yale Kamila, Maine Sunday Telegram, One City Center, Portland, ME 04101 or akamila@pressherald.com.

More than 200 people packed the swanky nightclub wearing all manner of fun, flirty and funky costumes. The party is hosted by Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, and all the funds raised at the event go to support Goodwill's programs that help individuals achieve economic and social independence.

"Halloween is always our busiest time of the year, so we decided to take advantage of that by hosting a ball where customers can showcase their creativity," said Michelle Smith, communications manager for Goodwill Industries of Northern New England.

As I made my way through the party snapping photos and chatting with guests, I was particularly interested in what costume elements came from Goodwill. Not only was this an interesting tidbit, but that night I was wearing an additional hat: Costume judge.

I shared the judging duties with state Sen. Justin Alfond and Erin Elizabeth of the Portland Phoenix. One of the categories in which we had to pick a winner was Most Creative Use of Goodwill Finds.

"I got my shoes at Goodwill today," Heather Caston-Talbot, who was dressed as a Roman empress, told me, "because I wanted to finish off my costume and support Goodwill at the same time."

Kristyle Gosselin of Portland, who was dressed as Sarah Wallace from the TV series "Chuck," told me about her memorable Goodwill shopping experience. She went there in search of a black jacket to finish off her costume, and brought her 2-year-old. As these things tend to go, her daughter proceeded to have a meltdown as Gosselin was pawing through the racks.

"As I'm walking out, I saw the Goodwill attendant holding the exact jacket I needed, and I said 'I'll take that,' " Gosselin said. "The baby stopped crying. It was perfect."

Katie and John Lisnik of Portland were dressed as a saloon girl and a gunfighter, respectively. They picked up a shawl, a crinoline, a bandana and a purse at Goodwill to complete their costumes.

Even the Duchess of Cumberland (aka Kathy Seybolt) and the Duchess of York (Sherri Evans) both donned dresses they found at Goodwill.

In the end, we judges had to reward the creative Goodwill shopping of Megan and Brian Wallace of South Portland. Not only did they have an original costume concept, they utilized a number of Goodwill finds.

Megan dressed as a combination of Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West and Brian dressed as a combination of the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Yellow Brick Road. They found a hat, a black shirt and a pair of pants, plus a brown towel Megan used to create the lion portion of the costume, at Goodwill.

One category down, we moved onto Best Group Theme. This too was a tough one, with the party offering up excellent interpretations of The Village People, Harry Potter characters, and Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

But we agreed that the thick blue face paint and black attire that Cindy Curran, Michael Clavet and Miranda Rooney of Old Orchard Beach used to transform themselves into Blue Man Group merited the prize.

Both of those awards came with $250 Visa gift cards, as did the People's Choice award, which went to Deborah Lovely, who was dressed in an elaborate costume she called the Little Dancing Man.

The final award the judges were charged with handing out was the Grand Prize. With a $500 Visa gift card dependent on our decision, we knew the stakes were high.

After much deliberation, we settled on Stacey and Shiran Pasternak, who dressed as Cheetara and Lion-O from the animated TV series "ThunderCats."

My fellow judge Elizabeth explained our reasoning best when she said of their revealing spandex costumes: "That takes some self-confidence and a level of self-esteem most people don't have."

I couldn't agree more.

When I had the chance to speak with the organization's CEO, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (who was dressed as an astronaut and happens to be the granddaughter and namesake of the former first lady), she told me, "I'm impressed. People really put a lot of thought into their costumes tonight."

Proving, once again, that Goodwill really is the ultimate Halloween headquarters.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:


Twitter: AveryYaleKamila


Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Most Creative Use of Goodwill Finds winners Megan Wallace and Brian Wallace, dressed as a combination of the main characters from “The Wizard of Oz”.

click image to enlarge

Terry Luce, dressed as a humanitarian, and People’s Choice award winner Deborah Lovely, dressed as a Little Dancing Man.

click image to enlarge

Ondrea Gallivan, Rhiana Leavitt, Christina Iannucci, Liz Smith, Danielle Robinson and Julie Lannon dressed as The Village People.

click image to enlarge

Kristyle Gosselin and Keith Gosselin dressed as Sarah Walker and Chuck Bartowski from the TV series “Chuck.”


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)



More PPH Blogs