Host Your Own: Great Pumpkin Challenge
Inspired by her friend’s optimism during treatment, Mackenzie Page wanted to give back and support Camp. In 2012, she created an event to get her community involved, and has been continuing the fun every year since. Each year, she hosts the Great Pumpkin Challenge (GPC) and asks individuals to drop off a carved pumpkin and a donation, then on Halloween she lights all the pumpkins and displays them for the whole town to see!
You can be part of this year’s Great Pumpkin Challenge by adding your own twist to this great idea!
It’s easy to host your own Great Pumpkin Challenge. Here’s how:
- Register Your Event
We love knowing how people are getting involved and supporting our beautiful campers and their families. Be sure to register your event so we can further support your hard work and creativity.
- Create a Committee
You’ll need help to organize all the details – ask a few friends, classmates, parents, teachers, etc. if they’ll be part of your event committee and help you plan a Great Pumpkin Challenge. Not only will this help you to divide and conquer tasks, but it will also help you to promote your event by getting more people’s networks involved.
- Know Your Community
Who do you want to attend the event? Who do you want to see your pumpkins? You may want to host a GPC with your neighbors, and display the pumpkins on Halloween at your house. Or you may want to get your whole town involved by having people drop pumpkins off from all over and displaying them in a public space for everyone to see! Knowing how many pumpkins you expect to be showcasing, and who you want to see them will help you decide on your location and how best to market.
- Know Your Budget
Make a list of all your potential costs (lights, pumpkin carving kits, display materials, etc.) look at what you expect to raise and how (donation per pumpkin, sponsorships etc.). Understand what your net donation will be (net donation= funds raised – expenses).
- Find a Location
You’ll want to make sure you have the right space for your event. If you’re having the public come and look at your display, ask a local business in the center of your town that gets a lot of traffic, if you can set up the pumpkins on their property. Or if you’re hosting an event at home or school, think about having a fall or Halloween themed party. Have guests bring their own pumpkins and a donation, carve or paint them at your party and then they bring them home to display.
- Set the Date and Time
If you’re hosting a pumpkin party, set a date for friends to come over. If you’re collecting pumpkins and displaying them, set dates for when people should drop off the pumpkins and when people can come view the pumpkins.
Invite your friends, family, neighbors or classmates to view the pumpkins! Write a letter to your local newspaper, contact local news channels to tell them about your event, and visit a pumpkin patch to ask if they’ll hang posters for your event.
- Pumpkin Time!
All your hard work is about to pay off! With your display space set, and pumpkins pre-carved, it’s time to light all the pumpkins and enjoy the night. Be available throughout the event to answer questions and thank guests for participating. Have a table out during the night to share information about The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and why this event is important to you!
- Say Thanks
The event may be over, but there’s one last thing to do! Within the week following your event be sure to thank everyone involved. From committee members to guests, everyone played a part in making your event a success. Share how much you raised, and thank them for their support.
After all the fun is wrapped up, and guests have long gone home, take a moment to review the event process. What went well? What would you change for next time? Now pat yourself on the back, you’re awesome!
Check out our Welcome Kit for more great tools!
Manager, Peer-to-Peer Programs
Phone: (203) 772.0522