Night of the Pumpkins Raises over $5,000 for Island Harvest


Photo courtesy of NAHS Instagram @thefinestfinest

LHS students participate in the “Hollowing Out” the day before the event

LHS’s National Art Honor Society pulled off yet another Night of the Pumpkins this year. The LHS field was illuminated with over 200 hand-carved jack-o-lanterns, creating a night of Halloween fun for all.  

Night of the Pumpkins is an annual family-friendly event presented by the NAHS and Key Club. It is a night filled with games, raffles, snacks, and festivities. Under the direction of the NAHS advisor and art teacher Michael Kunz, the NAHS members hollowed and hand-carved all the pumpkins for the event, each with its own unique design. The pumpkins were displayed on the new LHS field and sold for $10 each, generating over $5,000 in profit that will be used to benefit future NAHS events and the Island Harvest food bank. Island Harvest is a hunger-relief organization that strives to end hunger and food waste on Long Island. 

The jack-o-lanterns were the highlight of the event but only a portion of the fun that Night of the Pumpkins brought. Upon entry, attendees were greeted by spooky decorations, raffles, and NAHS officers. The cafeteria was transformed into a Halloween wonderland; as guests moved their way through the cafeteria, they were presented with games, face painting, crafts, and even a resident fortune teller.  

Preparations for the event began far in advance. The week leading up to the event, NAHS members filled goodie bags with Halloween-themed treats to use as prizes for the games and gathered decorations. The day prior to the event was the “Hollowing Out,” where all the ready-to-carve pumpkins were delivered to the school. The courtyard was filled with pumpkins and volunteers as they were tasked with scooping out and preparing all the pumpkins for the NAHS members to carve. Hollowing Out was open to the whole school, allowing non-NAHS members to experience the joy that Night of the Pumpkins brings. Junior Mae Dooling shared, “I volunteered at the Hollowing Out, and I am so happy I did. It was so much fun scooping out the pumpkins with my friends, and I was even happier at the fact that I contributed to such a great event!” 

Following the Hollowing Out, NAHS members took home their pumpkins–over 200 in total–and began the arduous task of carving. The carving is always completed shortly before the event to preserve the pumpkins from rotting. Members were also encouraged to bring more pumpkins home for family members to carve. “Carving the pumpkins is my favorite part about Night of the Pumpkins. I always get my family to help, and we all carve together,” said junior NAHS member Alayna Matern. Senior NAHS member Alexi Deninno agreed: “I get so excited to carve every year!” 

The day of Night of the Pumpkins began at 9 AM for NAHS members, as they were tasked with decorating the school and assembling the event. The remainder of the day was spent carving any additional pumpkins and arranging them on the field. The last detail before the doors open was to light all the pumpkins. “This year’s Night of the Pumpkins was more special than in years past because the pumpkin walk was held outside, and it was the first year it was on the new field,” Kunz added.  

The doors opened at 6 PM, following nine hours of hard work and preparation from the NAHS. The Key Club and NAHS members were behind-the-scenes of it all, and each person was assigned a specific job to ensure the event ran smoothly. The conclusion of Night of the Pumpkins featured a raffle drawing and a special thank-you from the NAHS. Cleanup was handled by volunteers, and the profits were tallied. 

NAHS President Sofia Yaker reflected on the night: “Night of the Pumpkins is so special because it is our biggest event and each year; we have such a large turnout.” She added, “It is a great time for kids and adults to have fun and get into the Halloween spirit. NAHS members put in great amounts of effort to carve their pumpkins and prepare for the event, and it is amazing to see the whole thing come full circle.”

As Night of the Pumpkins 2022 ended, preparation for the next one began. Overall, the NAHS presented a night of fun and got people of all ages ready for Halloween, allowing members to display their “finest finest” artwork and lend an important helping hand to those in need.