For the third year, Newtown High School sophomore MacKenzie Page is hard at work.
Her Great Pumpkin Challenge welcomes residents to bring their hand-crafted pumpkins to her doorstep at 14 Main Street. In the past, she's had up to 149 pumpkins from Newtowners, and she's hoping for even more this year.
If you've made a pumpkin, today — or tomorrow — is the day: she'll be accepting pumpkins from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Bring a $5 donation — all funds go to Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Camp.
It all started to help a friend.
"Two years ago, my friend Zoe was diagnosed with brain cancer when I was 11 and she was in eighth grade," says Page. "I wanted to do something to help her and her family out."
Since Page says her house regularly gets thousands of trick-or-treaters every year, it made sense to use Halloween to kick-start funds for her friend. They've raised more than $7,000 so far.
"She inspires me so much," said Page. "And while she hasn't been to the pumpkin challenge, she's seen the photos. I think she's happy with the pumpkins."
For the past two years, Zoe has attended the Hole in the Wall Camp, so Page decided to help them out. Already, the cause has begun to snowball. Similar efforts are underway this year in Trumbull and Southbury. And Hole in the Wall representatives have told Page they'll encourage kids in other towns to help out, too.
"It's sparked so much," says MacKenzie's mom Liz. "There's a Zoe in a lot of people's lives."