VizArtz, American Chemical Society host pumpkin painting

VizArtz and the American Chemical Society teamed up for the first time to sponsor an event that brought the university and the community closer together. Many local children and their families came to paint pumpkins on Oct. 18 in Marwick-Boyd 120.

The two students responsible for putting the event together were senior chemistry major Chelsea Korchok and senior graphic design major Laura Stiner. Korchok is president of Clarion’s chapter of the American Chemical Society, and Stiner is the treasurer of VizArtz.

“We just thought it was a good way to kind of unite the university and the community,” Korchok said.

Children from the Clarion area and their families paint pumpkins in Marwick-Boyd on Oct. 18.
Children from the Clarion area and their families paint pumpkins in Marwick-Boyd on Oct. 18.

Participants could buy a large pumpkin for $4, a small pumpkin for $1 or bring their own and paint it for free. Korchok and Stiner said the event was open to everyone, not just kids.

One parent at the event was Clarion University chemistry professor Jacqueline Knaust, who came with her family. “I’m supporting the chemists,” Knaust said.

To participate in the best pumpkin contest, kids could leave their pumpkins with the club members to be taken to local businesses for voting: Monday they were taken to Michelle’s Café, Tuesday they were displayed in True Value Hardware Store and Wednesday they could be found at Artfunkle’s. People could bring their spare change and vote on the pumpkin they liked best.

“Whoever has the most change wins,” Korchok said.

The winner received a large Halloween-themed gift basket. The proceeds from the pumpkin painting event went to VizArtz and the American Chemical Society.

Korchok and Stiner said the clubs are doing a second pumpkin event together. It’s a pumpkin-carving contest for all Recognized Student Organizations on campus.

To enter, each RSO pays a $2 entry fee and can only submit one pumpkin into the contest, which takes place during the week of Halloween. Pumpkins will be displayed in Gemmell and the Grunenwald Science and Technology Center, where voters can chose the winner by also using the spare change method. The RSO that raises the most money gets a gift basket, and 50 percent of the proceeds from the event will be donated to breast cancer awareness.

Korchok said the idea for these events started when her adviser suggested doing a pumpkin carving event for ACS. She then collaborated with her roommate Stiner, to start both events.

“We just kind of bounced the creative ideas off of each other,” Korchok said.

“We had fun just planning it,” Stiner said.

Part of the planning included gathering supplies. Korchok and Stiner said Paul’s Pumpkin Patch in Frogtown, Pa. donated the pumpkins. Stiner, Korchok and the two clubs donated the paint and other materials for the event.

“We split everything…We just kind of put everything together from the club monies,” Korchok said.

Korchok said these pumpkin events were the first time ACS has worked with other non-science clubs, like VizArtz. “We’re both trying to expand our horizons,” Stiner said.

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