Pumpkins are a symbol of the fall season because, without them, spooky decor and spiced lattes would not be the same. Cherished memories of carving pumpkins with the people who matter most are a traditional part of Halloween festivities. In light of this fall custom, the Student Philanthropy Council (SPC) hosted its inaugural pumpkin painting contest.

Friday's event took place at the Union Amphitheater. Pumpkins were lined up along with water and paint for participants to craft their spooktacular masterpieces. Participants also had a chance to win first, second and third place prize, which are rewarded with a $50, $25 and $12 gift certificate respectively, though a winner won’t be announced until an unspecified date in the following week.

The atmosphere was accompanied by Halloween tunes and fall leaves scattered everywhere, which not only had participants in a festive spirit but attracted the attention of those passing by on the pedway. Senior Katherine Banas said she was very pleased with the event’s festive manner.

“When I think of fall, I think of listening to spooky music, pumpkins and trees changing color, which I think this event does a good job of capturing,” Banas said. “I’m originally from Texas and came to NAU for the quaint and beautiful fall season, so it’s nice that there are events like this that center around this time of year.”

The event not only served as a way to spread the fall Lumberjack spirit but also to publicize the SPC’s initiative to fund several of the scholarships they provide for students at NAU.

Abraham Kelley founded the SPC on campus and serves as the annual giving manager. He said charity and student engagement are fundamental parts of the college experience. The SPC offers two scholarships: the NAU Senior Legacy Scholarship for seniors, which is an award up to $1000, and the Student Philanthropy Scholarship for underclassmen and, which can be awarded up to $500.

“I think we’re all here for one reason, which is to educate the student body and create a workforce that will do good work out in the community, and this council ignites that process through philanthropy and school spirit,” Kelley said. “We host several events throughout the year to raise money and engage students with the organization as well."

Junior and SPC President Arianna Rivera said the preparation of the event was rewarding since the attendees of the event would be generating money for the council and scholarships.

“The dedicated members of our club put in a tremendous amount of effort putting on these events," Rivera said in an email. "A lot of work goes into each and every event but the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a successful event and knowing that it is all for a great cause is very rewarding."

The pumpkin painting contest was an opportunity for students to share their creativity while also having a chance to win prizes.