Below you will find the op-eds (opinion articles) that have been published in newspapers and online across the country.  Op-eds are posted according to their release date. To read by topic, please see the Issue Positions page.

Max Burton is well-known across Salt Lake Valley for being a huge fan of Halloween. But when his young daughter talked him into setting up a small haunted house at their Midvale home two years ago, even he was surprised at the big reception it received.

As expected, it was a hit with neighborhood friends and children. But as word spread, the Burton’s haunted home became a favorite of residents all over the city. People soon started coming from across Salt Lake Valley.

This year is no different

Children absolutely love it. So do their parents, who appreciate having somewhere they can take them without having to pay a lot of money. You see, Burton’s “Scared Haunt” at 415 West Princeton Drive is free. All Burton asks is that people donate a can or two of food for the Utah Food Bank, or a can of pet food for the Humane Society of Utah or the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, which is also dedicated to animal welfare.

Little wonder that in addition to putting a good-natured scare into parents and children, Burton has scared up a good deal of publicity. His haunted house has been featured on TV newscasts in Utah and in newspapers as far away as Baltimore.

As newsworthy as it is, though, Burton’s haunted house is hardly novel. It reflects a growing public awareness that holiday giving is not just for Christmas anymore – that fall is also a great time to spring for charity.

That explains why so many autumn charity events have cropped up in recent years. One of them is the Utah Valley University Corn Maze in Payson, which is a joint effort between the university and the city of Payson. Configured in the shape of the school’s wolverine mascot, this maze at 800 S. Station Road in Payson raised several thousand dollars last year to provide two students with scholarships to UVU. Organizers expect to do just as well or better this year.

Besides raising money for scholarships, the maze also benefits service clubs, which can volunteer to run the venue and earn money for their organization. Earlier this month, organizers and members of Payson High School’s Future Farmers of America had a dance party there to raise funds. More information about this fall fundraiser is available at www.uvualumni.org/maize.

In southern Utah, Halloween fans are eagerly awaiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah’s Monster Dash, which is scheduled for Oct. 27 and consists of a 5K, 1K and Zombie Walk. Prizes will be awarded to the best-costumed participants and the proceeds will benefit the organization’s south chapter. Big Brothers and Big Sisters pairs at-risk children with responsible adult volunteers who can mentor them and help change their lives for the better. More information about the event can be found on the web at www.bbbsu.org.

Not all fall fundraisers follow a Halloween theme. One of the most successful in Utah County is the annual “In Her Shoes” gala that takes place each November. It is organized by the United Way of Utah County Women in Philanthropy, which works to develop financial resources and promote programs to improve the lives of women and children. Past events have raised as much as $55,000; information about this year’s event, which takes place Nov. 2, is available at www.unitedwayuc.org.

These are only a few examples of fall fundraisers. A more complete list of charitable events can be found by contacting your church, municipal web site or favorite charity, among others.

Such events show that fall is more than football and fall leaves. They reflect the fact that charitable giving is always in season.