Painted pumpkins are a tradition at Ivy Hall

Published 12:14 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2022

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They’re back!
The painted pumpkins are back in big numbers this year at Ivy Hall Nursing Home – almost 200 of them. They’re on the steps, building ledges, lurking in corners and everywhere you look. They’re big, little, tiny, and they have been designed to look like a myriad of characters, including Elvis Presley, an oversized piece of candy corn in the traditional orange, yellow and white, a mother pig with her babies, and some are shady characters.
All are unique pieces of art. There are no duplicates as each pumpkin has been designed and painted by a different person. There are even a few scarecrows also posted on the grounds of Ivy Hall keeping watch over the pumpkins.
Jill Burrow, Dietary Manager at Ivy Hall Nursing Home, shared that the pumpkin art started as a few pumpkins for fall decorations at Ivy Hall. It has now evolved into a community endeavor resulting in a magnificent pumpkin display. “They have been donated by churches, businesses, community members, and schools. This year, students at West Side Elementary School contributed to the display. This is the eighth year for the pumpkin display,” she said.
“It is some high-class artwork. I’m amazed at some of the work and thought that went into the pumpkins, and the creativity on display, They just get better each year. We are so thankful for all those who participated this year,” Burrow exclaimed.
She said the tradition began with the residents painting the pumpkins, and then it spread. “COVID came and our residents were locked down off and on for a couple of years and were unable to participate. However, the community filled the void by painting and donating the pumpkins. This year, the Pumpkin Barn donated some painted pumpkins as did Yard Depot of Hampton, and Caris Hospice,” shared Burrow.
“Our residents love them and it is a great opportunity to roll them outside in the evenings to see the display and interact with the neighbors who walk by to look also. The pumpkins have also brought a lot of fun to our therapy department.  The display wraps around the building; thus the therapists have used the opportunity to assist patients in walking longer distances and on uneven surfaces to see the pumpkins,” said Burrow.
“What COVID took from the residents, the community has stepped up to give it back. We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to the display this year,” shared Burrow.
Also, helping Burrow to coordinate the event was Joseph Taylor and Tiffany Jenkins of the nursing home staff.

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