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Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph hosts pumpkin decorating contest

A recent pumpkin decorating contest among Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph associates attracted 13 creatively executed submissions – and a host of onlookers who wanted to join in the fun.


The judges included Laurie Labarca, St. Joseph hospital president; Brandon Chandler, teen volunteer, Ascension Via Christi Partners in Caring; Sr. Anne Dolores LaPlante and Sr. Romona Seidl, Congregation of Saint Joseph; Joyce Frederiksen, principal, All Saints Catholic School; and Kit Lambertz, executive director, Dear Neighbor and StepStone ministries.


Surgical Services department won for its patient “Pumpkin Spice” and surgeon “Dr. Gourde,” both outfitted in surgical gear, gloves and masks. The patient’s ID number was 10312019  – this year’s Halloween date – and its surgical site was an Operation game board.


“I saw the picture our surgical techs, Bobbi Feeny and Stephanie Palmer, were going to base our submission off of, but I was so excited and proud when I saw the final product,” says Stephanie Bachman, director of Surgical Services at St. Joseph. “When I told my team about the contest, I said, ‘We’re gonna participate and we’re gonna win,’ and we did just that."


The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s Sesame Street-themed pumpkin, Grover, housed in a metal waste bin and surrounded by trash and junk food wrappers, was the runner up.


Other entries included Mike Wazowski, Nemo, a unicorn, a cactus, a caramel apple, an Ascension-themed pumpkin, a Jurassic Park dino, a baby spider, a bucket of popcorn and a pampered spa-day pumpkin.


Thanks to everyone for taking part and making it a difficult decision for our judges!


The judges with all the pumpkin submissions.

Surgeon "Dr. Gourde" and patient "Pumpkin Spice" on the surgery table.

Another close up of Dr. Gourde and Pumpkin Spice and the Operation.

Pumpkin Spice's ID bracelet with this year's Halloween date. 

The Surgical Services team with their first-place prize.

Runner up submission Grover from the NICU.

Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me! Mike Wazowski from Disney's Monsters, Inc. 

Have you seen my dad? Nemo from Disney's Finding Nemo

This isn't a snapchat filter. It's an actual colorful and glittery unicorn pumpkin.

This one won't prick you! A cactus pumpkin complete with a ceramic plant dish.

A delicious looking caramel apple pumpkin. It may not be as sweet as the real thing. 

An Ascension-themed pumpkin. 

Life...uh, finds a way. Into a pumpkin. A Jurassic Park themed dino egg pumpkin.

The cutest terror you ever did see. A baby spider pumpkin, dressed for the cold weather.

What movie are you taking this pumpkin to? It even has edible candy and popcorn.

Treat yo'self! A spa day pumpkin (that will not be disturbed until the facemask comes OFF.) 



About Taylor Valdez

Curly hair with straight priorities. Dedicated workaholic and weekend adventurer. When I'm not writing or working, I'm shopping, chowing down on local bites or binging Netflix.