Lambda Chi Alpha hosts Pumpkin Bash, rallies sororities to fight food insecurity


Members of Delta Zeta play tug-of-war during the Pumpkin Bash event on Manchester Field Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017.

Miranda Marinello

Sorority members left Manchester Field drenched in pumpkin innards, sweat and Jell-O after Lambda Chi Alpha’s 15th annual Pumpkin Bash Sunday.

Participants spent a long week flooding Twitter timelines with facts about food insecurity, clearing shelves in dining halls and grocery stores of canned food and emptying cans of spray paint to adorn the Rock on front campus with Lambda Chi Alpha’s letters in the name of Pumpkin Bash.

Teams and supporters from each sorority descended on Manchester Field to throw, carry and smash pumpkins to end food insecurity Sunday.

The event featured field day and carnival-style competitions centered around pumpkins with all canned food collected going to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. All funds raised benefitted Lambda Chi Alpha’s national philanthropic partner, Feeding America Network.

Festivities had a messy start in the kick off Search and Destroy competition, where competitors hurled pumpkins at the ground, rushing to be the first to find one of three ping pong balls hidden in the partially hollowed out pumpkins.

Other events included a tug-of-war over a tarp covered in the remains of the aforementioned destroyed pumpkins, a bounce house obstacle course and “bobbing for gourds,” wherein three women fished apples out of a large tub of Jell-O using only their mouths.

Challenges throughout the week included a can collection drive, a retweet challenge and the “throw what you know with a Lambda” picture challenge. “Throw what you know” refers to when a member of a fraternity or sorority displays a hand sign that resembles a symbol associated with their chapter.

The picture challenge consisted of taking a picture with a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and posting it on Twitter. The chapter with the most pictures won extra points towards their overall total at the end of the event.

Last year, Lambda Chi donated over 70,000 pounds of food to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank; the single biggest donation the food bank had ever received. The competitive spirit is found not only in the teams facing off over over an estimated 90 gallons of Jell-O, but in the fraternity brothers.

“Actually, (with) the person that’s in charge every year, we pretty much have a kind of inside competition to try to top the person before us that held Pumpkin Bash,” said Tyler Andrews, a Lambda Chi Alpha brother and senior construction management major. “It’s a great friendly competition. We always try to improve ourselves every year.”

Hannah Jager, a Tri Sigma sister and junior communication studies major, attributes the competitive energy to the unconventional nature of the event.

“It’s different than most of the other philanthropies where you just dance and sing. You actually get ‘hands-on’ involved,” said Jager, who plans on attending the event next year, despite graduating.

After all the Twitter challenges, canned food drives, fundraising, physical competitions and more, Delta Zeta earned first place, with Tri Sigma taking second and third place going to Phi Mu.

Lambda Chi Alpha will announce the total amount of food donations collected later this week via the chapter’s Twitter account and the Pumpkin Bash event account, @Ksulambdachi and @LCAPumpkinBash.

Miranda Marinello is the Greek life reporter. Contact her at [email protected].