As the summer sun drifts away and the crispness of fall returns, thoughts of barnyard fun, pumpkin spice lattes, raking leaves, and pumpkin carving enter our minds.

What better opportunity to carve a pumpkin than for the second annual Pumpkin Carving For A Cause contest held by the Carroll Hospital Auxiliary in conjunction with Westminster FallFest? All proceeds from this community event benefit the expansion, renovation, and introduction of the Neonatal Couplet Care model in the Family Birthplace at Carroll Hospital.

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The Couplet Care model allows mothers to room with their newborn babies who are born prematurely or require specialized care, even after the mother is discharged from the hospital. Benefits of this model include stronger bonding for the whole family, improved confidence for the parents and shorter hospital stays for babies. Carroll Hospital is among the first in the nation to utilize the Couplet Care model.

In 2018, over 30 local businesses skillfully and creatively carved pumpkins with Molli’s Cafe winning the inaugural Grand Gourd Award last year with their Palm Tree pumpkin. The Carroll Hospital Auxiliary will be holding Pumpkin Carving for a Cause at the 2019 Westminster FallFest September 26th‐29th.

The cost of entries is a $100 donation and will give the individual or business access to a unique offering of benefits including:

  • 35,000 people during Westminster’s FallFest can vote on your branded pumpkin.
  • Social media marketing of your business tagged to Carroll Hospital.
  • Westminster FallFest and community businesses have a reach of more than 355,000 individuals.
  • Online voting application, where your branded pumpkin will be displayed.
  • Premier signage of your pumpkin with you or your business name.
  • Invitation to Friday, Sept. 27 Illumination Celebration Kick‐off event, to include pumpkin lighting, community networking, and media coverage.
  • Personal pumpkin delivery service to your office.

Interested participants must sign up by Monday, Sept. 16 to be featured in the pumpkin carving contest display. Pumpkins will be delivered to your office on Monday, Sept. 23 or Tuesday, Sept. 24. Participants can file the form through this link: https://bit.ly/2khU1uO or sign up online at https://bit.ly/2kfm6CZ.

The contest is heating up as numerous countywide businesses have already signed up in an attempt to win the 2019 Grand Gourd Award. Among the contestants are a number of Carroll County’s own elected officials who are throwing their hat in the ring.

“I think it’s a fun idea having Carroll County’s mayors hold a friendly pumpkin-carving competition. It’s a great group of individuals and I’m ready to see who brings their 'A' game,” said Westminster Mayor Joe Dominick.

Who will win the 2019 Pumpkin Carving For A Cause is up for grabs, but without a question the community will show their creativity. The 2018 contestants brought an impressive offering with many attempting to squash the competition.

What better way to enjoy pumpkin carving this fall than to be creative, competitive, and also support a great local cause. So, grab your pumpkin carving knife and bring your creative vision to life!

Tom Gordon writes from Westminster. He writes every other Saturday. Email him at tgordonwrites@gmail.com.

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