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By Joanna Georgiev. October 25, 2013 - 1:05 pm
This year marks the 4th Annual Pumpkin Carving Festival presented by Matson and Safeway. The 2013 charities selected as the beneficiaries for the festival were Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Centers and the United Service Organization of Hawaii.
With the business of life, many of us distance ourselves from tradition. Annual Pumpkin Carving Fest founder, Billie Gabriel’s idea for the festival came about when she was thinking of ways to bring families together. She blurted out the word pumpkins while talking to a friend of hers.
“One of the purposes for this community event was to create a new tradition for families leading into Halloween and Thanksgiving,” she said. The organization’s goal is to give back and provide a festive atmosphere where families can spend time together.
The corporate competition, which brings together local companies, was held in Tamarind Park in Bishop Square.
“It is so nice to see companies come together for these two causes. These companies here help the community grow, they provide jobs and when they are successful they extend their hand to help nonprofits. It is all about leadership and making things happen and the businesses here are doing that tonight,” said Leighton Tseu, former employee of Matson.
This year’s world famous pumpkin carver Ray Villafane, who was featured on Food Network, flew out with his family from Long Island New Jersey to participate in the event.
As a former teacher, the non-profit cause stroke a chord with Villafane. It was during his teaching career in Bellaire, Michigan that Villafane realized his interest in pumpkin sculpting as he had students work on pumpkins for a project.
photos by Joanna Georgiev