My name is Richard Denisar. My wife Deanna and I are residents of Mount Holly NJ. We have lived here for 13 years.
We are trying to raise money to cover the costs of a yearly event that we personally have sponsored fully ourselves for the past 12 years. Our event is called the "Mount Holly Pumpkin Festival". You can read all about it on facebook, by searching Mount Holly Pumpkin Festival. This is, and always has been a free event open to the public. Not just residents of Mount Holly, but anyone that would like to participate.
Any donation will be used to cover the costs associated with this event. If there is any extra it will go towards next years event and improving our Haunted Hayride portion of the event that we started last year. In the last few years it has cost Deanna and I between $5,000 to $7,000 per year.
Let me tell you a little about our event, and how it all started. 13 years ago Deanna and I built our new home here at 230 Clifton ave Mount Holly. We finished late in August of that year and wanted to be good neighbors and make friends with the locals. I came up with the idea to have a pumpkin carving contest. Not sure why, guess it was just that season. So, I sat out front my house while kids were going to school and told them we were hosting a pumpkin contest and they were invited to come for free. So they did. 25 Kids came that year. It was great! Deanna and I both loved it! We gave out prizes and everyone got a certificate. We commited to doing it the following year. Year 2 brought 75. Year 3 125. As it grew we no longer called it a contest, but instead an event. A Free event. We gave everyone a gift and food and snacks while here. Last Year for 2015 we hit 750. For 2016 we planned for 1000 Pumpkins!
Basically, the event has been totally free to the public. Families show up and are provided with a hollowed out pumpkin, carving tools, and select a pattern or decide to freehand carving their pumpkin. While carving the pumpkin we bring them snacks and drink. we also provide other activites such as a jump house, face painting, and a haunted Hay ride, all at no cost.
When the pumpkins are completed, we take your picture with your pumpkin and give it to you in a frame. You then leave your pumpkin on Display. The display is then lighted each night and everyone is welcome to drive by or stop to see the display. This year we intend on starting the event on October 25th, 2016 at which time carvings will begin and carving will end on Sunday the 30th. The display will then be available for view on Halloween until approximately Nov 4th. ( see the facebook page for updates to event dates and times)
Deanna and I have always been grateful to all those that have helped us by donating their time. But we never asked, or accepted donations in the past. We were always proud to GIVE BACK, and sponsor the event fully ourselves. But this year, I have had some financial difficulties, and some health issues. As a result it brought into question, whether or not we could do the festival this year. Recently a friend questioned us about our plans, and I expressed my present misfortunes. This friend reinforced what I already knew to be true. The Mount Holly Pumpkin Festival has become a true event. Something that we just couldn't let people down by not having. It has become part of Mount Holly!
So I must swallow my pride and ask for donations this year. If you would like to give back also, but do not have the time or ability to do something like this, I will be be honored to accept your donation this year. If you are one of the families that have been coming since your children were small and I have always kindly refused a donation you offered year after year, this year I will kindly accept it. Deanna and I have always enjoyed everyone that attends, and truly have been proud to have provided a day for everyone to enjoy. Last year we may have had close to 2000 guests over the event. not to mention how many drive by afterwards to see the display.
Everyone that has ever attended the Mount Holly Pumpkin Festival knows how Deanna and I take the time to talk with the kids and motivate them to do well in school, to think big, and to pursue their dreams. We have inspired them not to be afraid to take a chance on something, to not be afraid of a failure. A failure is only a step towards success. I have shared some of my accomplishments, and have expressed they would have not been possible were I afraid to try.
This past year I have been working on something truly amazing. I have built a The Magical Pumpkin Machine that will automatically hollow your pumpkin. It will not carve the pumpkin for you, it just hollows it. It does the messy part and leaves you to do the fun part. I look forward to all those children who have been coming for many years to see this in action. Too me this is the proof to think Big, and Not to be afraid. To build this machine I have taught myself many things this year I never knew how to do. such as computer programming, electronics and welding. This is what I tell children. LEARN. LEARN. Do not be afraid.
It would mean everything to Deanna and I if you would be kind enough to help us make this year possible. this is our "13th" year. We want it to be Special, not Bad Luck. To anyone that is offended by Halloween, who may consider it a Pagan Holiday, we apologize. In our hearts we simply started a fun event for the public. We welcome you all to attend, and I personally very humbly and gratefully ask for your donation and help this year. make sure you go to our facebook page to see photos and more about this event. Thank You all in advance for your support, and Thank Youagain to our friend who inspired me make this Happen!