Pennies for Pumpkins celebrates eighth anniversary

David Saveanu

Staff Writer

This year’s Pennies for Pumpkins fundraiser was held Oct. 26 with organizers hoping for a level of success that rivals last year’s.

“I have never seen so many students so enthusiastic about charity work and raising money for great causes,” said Abby Becerra, Alpha Phi Omega’s president, of 2015’s Pennies for Pumpkins. “I hope this grows larger and continues to be a fun event that all groups want to participate in.”

Pennies for Pumpkins is a competitive fundraiser co-sponsored by Alpha Phi Omega, Parkland’s service fraternity, and Student Life every fall semester since 2009.

“Organizations compete to carve the best pumpkin,” said Aaron Hoyle-Kaitz, APO’s chairman of service. After the competition, Parkland students and staff, as well as members of the community, vote on their favorite pumpkin by donating money to the organization that carved it.

The money raised is then collectively awarded to the organization with the biggest proceeds to use on their choice of charity. The charity can be anything from the men’s shelter to soup kitchens all across Champaign and Urbana.

Last year, $913.12 was raised in just three hours, for the Prairieland Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and this year the goal was to break a thousand. The amount raised and the winning student organization are to be announced.

Pennies for Pumpkins is a great opportunity for student organizations to come together and help the greater good, says Chad Greenwood, another APO officer. He believes that the competitive aspect keeps people engaged and the event fun.

APO says they spent a lot of time putting together the event and trying to raise awareness and get more organizations involved.

Many organizations were present, including Latino Club, Parkland Pride, and many others, showcasing their carved pumpkins,

This is one of APO’s many events happening throughout the year and are open to everyone. A calendar with events can be found on their website,