MEDORA

Four pumpkins painted pink sit in a box layered with yellow pieces of paper and decorated with multicolored sticks.

There is one large pumpkin next to three small ones. Eyes and a mouth are painted on top of each pumpkin, the stem represents the nose and the ears are made out of pink material.

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Put it all together, and you get a mother pig with her three babies.

Another pumpkin has a detailed painting of Batman’s face, one looks like a unicorn and another one has eyes and is wrapped in white tissue paper to look like a mummy.

Medora High School students in the DELTA Club and elementary and junior high kids involved in the Reach for a Star after-school program recently used their creativity to come up with themed pumpkins.

On Friday, six pumpkins will be on display at State Bank of Medora for people to check them out and place their bid. The silent auction will continue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the eighth annual HOPE Medora Goes Pink cancer awareness event in town, and then the winners will be announced.

More than 50 other pumpkins painted and decorated by Medora students will be sold during the festival. Prices will be $3 to $5.

All proceeds will benefit the after-school programs.

“We’re just trying to think about how to incorporate the kids into a project like this,” said Ange Arthur, 21st Century Community Learning Centers outreach coordinator at Medora.

“They are aware because they know, ‘Hey, this is going to help us raise money so we can do parties, we can go on special field trips and things like that,’” she said.

Tiemeyer’s Farm Market and Stuckwish Farm Market, both in nearby Vallonia, donated all of the pumpkins.

It was up to the kids to come together and decide how they wanted to paint or decorate the pumpkins.

Some worked in groups on one pumpkin, while several chose to paint their own. Around 45 of the 55 students involved in the after-school programs participated.

“We wanted them to be the ones to be the masterminds behind it,” Arthur said. “They decided what the pumpkins were going to be. Then we thought we wanted them to do their own as individuals and to learn to work as a group and have to make decisions, team-building kind of things.”

Third-grader Jackson Kelley chose to paint a different character on each side of a small pumpkin — one with a ninja and the other with an alien.

“Because I don’t just have to do one, so I can take my time and do another one,” he said.

Jackson said he looks forward to showing off his pumpkin during the festival.

“I want everybody to see how creative I am,” he said.

For Halloween each year, Jackson said he has had more opportunities to carve pumpkins rather than paint them.

“I get to get creative when I draw these because I’m not really allowed to use paint at my house. This is the only opportunity I have to paint,” he said. “The painting I like because I like getting messy. I don’t really like using crayons and markers because whenever I mix colors, it doesn’t work very good, but whenever I use paint, it looks pretty good.”

Second-grader Zoey Scott used paint and a few accessories to create a rainbow caterpillar emoji pumpkin.

She said she has painted and carved pumpkins in the past.

She said she looks forward to someone buying her pumpkin.

Arthur said money raised from the project will go toward parties, rewards and field trips for students in the after-school programs.

“We would be tickled to death if we could get $200 to $300. That would be fantastic,” she said. “It all goes back to the kids, of course. We want to expose them to as much as we possibly can. Our main goal is for the arts, music, plays, things that they aren’t usually exposed to.”

This is the fourth year for Blue River Services to offer the Reach for a Star after-school program for kindergartners through eighth-graders at Medora. It goes from 3 to 6 p.m. every school day.

They receive snacks for the first half-hour before concentrating on homework from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The rest of the time is spent participating in club activities and special events.

The DELTA Club started this school year and runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. DELTA stands for determination, excellence, leadership, talent and achievement. The program focuses on homework help, enrichment, career and college readiness, credit recovery and free online college courses.

At a glance

Students involved in the DELTA Club and Reach for a Star after-school programs at Medora Community Schools recently painted and decorated pumpkins.

Six of them will be a part of a silent auction. People can place their bids during regular business hours Friday at State Bank of Medora, 24 E. Main St., and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the HOPE Medora Goes Pink cancer awareness event in town. Winners will be announced at 1 p.m.

More than 50 other painted and decorated pumpkins will be available for purchase, ranging from $3 to $5.

All proceeds will benefit the after-school programs.

For information, search for “Medora’s Reach for a Star Afterschool Program” or “Medora High School DELTA Club” on Facebook or call 812-966-2201.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.