Pumpkins were carved for a cause Saturday at a fundraiser for MountainStar Family Relief Nursery, a child abuse and neglect prevention organization in Central Oregon.
The 10th annual Carving for Kids fundraiser was held outside Newport Avenue Market in Bend. The fundraiser, hosted by MountainStar and Webfoot Painting, featured about 250 pumpkins. All were donated from Central Oregon Pumpkin Company at Smith Rock Ranch.
Some of the pumpkins were carved with local businesses’ logos and ready to be picked up by each business for a $295 donation. Other untouched pumpkins were waiting to be carved by anyone who stopped by. Each person who carved their own pumpkin donated $20.
Employees of Webfoot Painting and MountainStar all dressed in superhero costumes as they welcomed people. The event raised more than $27,000, beating last year’s fundraising amount.
Gavin Hepp, co-owner and director of sales and marketing at Webfoot Painting, dressed as Mr. Incredible from the Pixar animated film, “The Incredibles.”
He and other Webfoot Painting employees carved all of the pumpkins for the local businesses before the event. Hepp said he carved about 15 of the business logo pumpkins. The hardest part was carving the letters, he said.
“It’s meticulous work,” Hepp said. “You have to stick to the process and just take your time.”
Bend resident Emily Hurworth came to carve pumpkins with her boyfriend, Justin Lindsey, and her grandmother, Phyllis Hurworth.
Emily Hurworth, a hearing specialists at Miracle-Ear in Bend, said her grandmother first brought her to the event when it started a decade ago, and they have been coming back to carve pumpkins ever since.
“It’s nice to be able to give back to the community, but pumpkin carving is alway just a fun way to connect and spend time with family,” Hurworth said.
Hurworth was working on a carving of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty on one side of her pumpkin and a dragon on the other side. Her boyfriend carved a silhouette of a deer as her grandmother watched them both work.
In past years, Hurworth said, she has carved a variety of designs from a Batman logo to an owl.
Organizers said they want her to help carve business logos next year for the event.
“They did ask me to do logos next year, so I better get practicing,” she said.
Staley Micken, development director at MountainStar who dressed as Wonder Woman, said the annual event has become one of the most successful — and fun — fundraisers for the organization.
It started out raising about $800 to now bringing in more than $27,000. All of the money goes directly to MountainStar services that keep local families and children safe, Micken said.
Micken is grateful to see people show their support each year through the carved pumpkins.
“When you see people that really know our mission, they just come out and are so excited to support it,” she said.
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