On October 7, 2020

Great pumpkin painters are at work at MSJ

By Ed Larson

First-year art teacher Sally Hogan of Mount Saint Joseph Academy (MSJ) in Rutland said candidly that “bonding and being part of something bigger that benefits your cause and your community is the most important part of fundraising.”

Thus, she challenged her students to come up with fundraising ideas for the school yearbook. They did just that.

The students came up with the idea of pumpkin picking and then utilizing their art skills to decorate them for sale to members of the community.

Nine students, eight of whom are seniors, met with Williams Farm in Rutland Town and obtained their first 60 pumpkins.

“The quality of their pumpkins was great, not to mention their great prices,” said Hogan. “They gave us an amazing discount after hearing what we were getting the pumpkins for.”

Hogan attended MSJ from 2011-2015, and as part of her first-year duties back at the academy, she also became the advisor for MSJ’s yearbook committee and publications class.

“I wanted to make sure the kids were able to make the yearbook, especially considering how last year ended,” she said referring to school closing in March due to the pandemic.

The painting and sales of pumpkins immediately took off. Prices varied from small, medium to large pumpkins with a small additional fee for special request pumpkins.

One special request, an Eiffel Tower with crows above it, was completed within a few hours.

Seniors Pearl Bellomo, Savannah Perry, Ashley Blot, Keegan Chadburn, Wolff Laurent, Grant Thurston, Payton Thurston, Rachael Gregory, and Junior Sarah-Christelle Guerrier worked during class time and free periods as well as their lunch breaks to get orders painted and ready for pickup.

When posters for the sale went up on social media, sales began to climb. Another load of pumpkins had to be ordered, according to Hogan.

“We did not expect to have such an incredible response, and for the pumpkin to be in such high demand,” she said.

The driving force is not just funding the yearbook but “artistically expressing themselves and enjoying each other’s company,” Hogan added.

Orders for pumpkins can be placed by contacting Sally Hogan at sallyhogan@msjvermont.org, or calling the school, 802-775-0151.

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