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Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
November 11, 2009

Halloween may be history, but Arts Haus residents coaxed one more afternoon of fun from its remains during the annual Smashing Pumpkins event.

Each Halloween, the Arts Collective, MOB and other campus groups host pumpkin carvings and decorate spaces with the colorful squash. When the holiday ends, Arts Haus residents gather the leftover pumpkins, pile them in Britton Plaza and invite passersby to blow off some steam for a few dollars a pop. “The timing is perfect," says Art Haus President Annabelle Mac Auley ’11. “You can let out all of your mid-semester frustration—and it's all for a worthy cause."

This year, that worthy cause is Watoto Wa Baraka International, a nonrpfit organization that manages an orphanage north of Nairobi. Arts Haus member and Engage the World scholar Amanda Stevens '11 visited the orphanage last summer while researching the development of sustainable fishery systems in Kenya.

"The orphanage houses 24 poor children and sponsors 75 in the local community. They are setting up an amazing sustainable farm to feed the children," says Stevens. "But, as with any aid program, when the money runs out, the children suffer. So we wanted to do what we can to help."

It's just one of several planned Arts Haus fundraisers that will benefit charitable organizations, says Mac Auley. "We’re stepping up our charitable events and focusing on giving back to the community," she explains. "This is the new face of Arts Haus. We want to make a real difference in the local community and world."

Click on image to view larger photo.

Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
More than a hundred pumpkins were crushed during the Smashing Pumpkins fundraiser. The remnants were later composted at the Dickinson College Farm.

Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
Justin Ruffini '12 gets the job done.

Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
Participants smashed the pumpkins into a pulp to the sound of Smashing Pumpkins hits.

Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
A slippery tarp, coated with pumpkin seeds and pulp, indicates a successful fundraiser. The afternoon event raised $165.26 for Wa Baraka International, a nonprofit organization that manages an orphanage in Kenya.

Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
Arts Haus residents encouraged participants to donate $1 -$5 for each pumpkin demolished during the Smashing Pumpkins fundraiser.

Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
Students tried several different means of destruction.

Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
Arts Haus President Annabelle Mac Auley '11 (left) takes a turn.

Smashing Pumpkins for Charity
Amanda Stevens '11 (above) visited a Kenyan orphanage while researching as an Engage the World scholar through Watoto Wa Baraka. After a two-month stay in Kenya, she presented her research to the NGO Global Network.

Text by MaryAlice Bitts
Photos by Justin Marquis '93 and Annabelle MacAuley '11.