Project Pumpkin, an annual event sponsored by the Wake Forest University Volunteer Service Corps, will celebrate its 15th year Oct. 30 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. by bringing nearly 2,500 children from 37 community agencies to the Wake Forest campus for an afternoon of safe Halloween fun. The event specifically benefits children from invited agencies and is not open to the general public.
During Project Pumpkin, costumed student volunteers will escort children through residence halls for trick-or-treating. Student organizations and academic departments will sponsor carnival booths, face painting, haunted houses and other entertainment
The physics and chemistry departments will host their popular “mad scientist” shows during the afternoon. Various campus groups will perform, including student actors from the Anthony Aston Players, and English majors will read scary stories. Most of the activities will be held on University Plaza (Quad) between Wait Chapel and Reynolda Hall.
This year’s theme is “Pirates.” Project Pumpkin volunteers have been visiting participating agencies throughout the month in what are called “agency plunges.” During the visits, which are designed to allow students to interact more with the children before they arrive on campus and encourage volunteerism beyond the one-day event, the volunteers have been making pirate hats and pirate-themed decorations for the event.
“Project Pumpkin is one of those things that just brightens the day of everyone involved. The kids have an amazing time playing games, trick-or-treating, watching shows and meeting Wake Forest students. The volunteers love hanging out with the children and dressing up. It really puts everything in perspective … when we can affect the lives of so many children,” said senior Katie Rouse, who is chairing the event.
Food Lion, which has been a long-time supporter of the event, will again donate candy.
Started in 1989 by a student, Project Pumpkin is one of several activities sponsored by the university’s Volunteer Service Corps, which regularly serves the community.
Media representatives should check in at the media table in front of Wait Chapel to receive a press kit and find out which children cannot be photographed. Project Pumpkin and participating agency representatives will be available for interviews. To arrange coverage, contact Pam Barrett at 336-758-5237.
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