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The Blue & Gray Press | August 16, 2017

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COAR volunteers at 'Pumpkin Palooza'

Christine Eggenberger/Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service

By EMILY HANSON

The Community Outreach and Resources program kicked off Halloween festivities with the annual community service event “Pumpkin Palooza.” A huge focus of this event is giving the University of Mary Washington students a chance to give back to children from the local community.

A plethora of activities were offered just outside the entrance to the faculty and staff dining room at Seacobeck Hall, including a sac race, bean bag toss and a game of place the bowtie on the skeleton.

Meanwhile, inside the dining hall were even more craft options for the children to create and take what they made home. These included making lollipop spiders, pumpkin lanterns, juice box mummies and monster plates.

Also offered were semi-hourly trick-or-treat trips around campus. Volunteers dressed up in costumes would take a group of children and their families to Virginia Hall, most of the Tri-Mo complex and Randolph and Mason Halls where more volunteers were ready with plenty of candy.

Three-year-old Daniella Lombardi’s favorite part of the day was “doing the skeletons” at a craft table where kids made skeletons from Q-tips and googly eyes by gluing them onto black paper. Lombardi said she liked doing this because “they’re not scary.”

Many volunteers said that their favorite part of the event was seeing all of the children dressed up in costumes. There were teenage mutant ninja turtles, Olaf and Elsa from “Frozen” and plenty of fairies.

Senior psychology major and senior COAR staff member Madeline Moravitz said she enjoyed “seeing the kids go from reality to fantasy.”

In order to create a successful event, COAR tries to “engage with all sorts of campus organizations because the volunteers are what make it happen,” Moravitz said.

Amongst the volunteers for the event were members of Alpha Mu Sigma, Kappa Delta Pi and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

“The other great thing about Pumpkin Palooza is we advertised this event to as many people in the community as possible to get a broad audience,” Moravitz said.

COAR sends fliers to local schools and invites faculty and staff at UMW to bring their children to the event.

Jodie Hayob, professor of the earth and environmental studies, has brought her daughter to Pumpkin Palooza every year.

“There’s a lot of Mary Wash students who volunteer, and it’s a popular event with the community so I think it shines a good light on Mary Wash because a lot of people enjoy it,” said Heather Kennedy, senior historic preservation and elementary education double major.

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