Scenes from The Great Pumpkin Toss, benefiting Nanaimo Child Development Centre

Zinnia Oke smashes a pumpkin at The Great Nanaimo Pumpkin Toss fundraiser benefiting Nanaimo Child Development Centre on Nov. 5. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)Zinnia Oke smashes a pumpkin at The Great Nanaimo Pumpkin Toss fundraiser benefiting Nanaimo Child Development Centre on Nov. 5. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Justin Brooks, assisting Tod Gilbert and VMAC Air Innovated, loads up the pumpkin cannon at The Great Nanaimo Pumpkin Toss, benefiting Nanaimo Child Development Centre on Nov. 5. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)Justin Brooks, assisting Tod Gilbert and VMAC Air Innovated, loads up the pumpkin cannon at The Great Nanaimo Pumpkin Toss, benefiting Nanaimo Child Development Centre on Nov. 5. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Tod Gilbert, president of VMAC Air Innovated, and Willow Frazer prepare to fire a pumpkin from the cannon at The Great Pumpkin Toss benefiting Nanaimo Child Development Centre on Nov. 5. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)Tod Gilbert, president of VMAC Air Innovated, and Willow Frazer prepare to fire a pumpkin from the cannon at The Great Pumpkin Toss benefiting Nanaimo Child Development Centre on Nov. 5. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Jedrek Oke smashes a pumpkin at The Great Nanaimo Pumpkin Toss Nov. 5. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)Jedrek Oke smashes a pumpkin at The Great Nanaimo Pumpkin Toss Nov. 5. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Residents of Nanaimo had a chance to toss their jack-o’-lanterns to the heap a week after Halloween with The Great Pumpkin Toss.

The fundraising event, benefiting Nanaimo Child Development Centre, saw VMAC Air Innovated and Alair Homes Nanaimo with air cannons, shooting pumpkins through the air at Meadow Creek Community Park, near East Wellington fire hall on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Nick May, with Alair, said 1,500 people had shown up to the event, as of 1:45 p.m. Given strong winds caused power outages last night, the turnout was better than expected, according to May. The sun was shining through most of the day.

“We were really worried,” said May. “Obviously the weather’s in our favour, but it was touch-and-go for a little while there … it’s crazy that we have this insane turnout with the weather that we had last night.”

Keeley Campbell, NCDC resource development coordinator, said fundraising has been hampered by COVID-19 restrictions, but a sense of normalcy is returning.

“Things are different, obviously,” said Campbell. “We’ve had some growing pains and adjustment periods, but we’re getting back on track … we’re getting events back up and running.”

Fundraising totals will be known later.

The smashed pumpkins will be used as feed for animals, say organizers.

RELATED: Pumpkin cannon ready to fire in Nanaimo weekend after Halloween



karl.yu@nanaimobulletin.com

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