Jude Van Keulen jumped into his grandmother’s arms after his plastic dump truck with a pumpkin inside crossed the finish line first at Meals on Wheels Spokane’s ninth annual Great Pumpkin Race.
“I won, I won,” the 7-year-old said.
His pumpkin racer crashed into the hay backstop just before his 9-year-old brother Jax’s. Jude took home a scooter for edging out close to 30 other racers overall and three in the final round.
Cole Anderson, 8, built his pirate-themed pumpkin racer using a dolly outfitted with skateboard wheels. Pieces of metal piping were the canons on the ship, and his pumpkin pirate had metal bolts for teeth.
His sister, Sedona Anderson, 12, got the idea to decorate her pumpkin as a cupcake with painted cotton balls while walking the aisles of a grocery store. The siblings crafted their racers together last night.
Ainsley Jorgenson, 8, chose to hollow out a pumpkin, mount it on a skateboard and fill it with plastic eyeballs.
“When it goes on bumps, the eyeballs fly out the back and it looks really cool,” she said.
She put a unicorn horn on the front of her pumpkin and used gummy bear tape to attach her ghostly racer for a mix of spooky and cute.
“I’m really excited, since I’ve never done this before,” she said.
Saturday was the second year Meals on Wheels held the event at Greenwood Memorial Terrace after past crowds of more than 400 people overwhelmed the former spot on the South Hill.
The $5 from each registration, plus registration fees from about 60 entrants in the 1K and 5K runs, went to Meals on Wheels. Since most everyone who preregistered came, organizers weren’t disheartened that poor weather stunted same-day entries.
“The Great Pumpkin Race is not as much about raising money,” said Meals on Wheels Board President Kim Lloyd. “This event is focused more on community outreach.”
The main goal was to promote ways people can donate and volunteer, Lloyd said. Meals on Wheels serves about 400 meals each day through its senior center and food deliveries, which are all shuttled by volunteers.
“We really rely on the community for that volunteer support,” Lloyd said.
The nonprofit also is seeking donations to help offset costs for structural repairs to its senior center. Some damage was discovered Oct. 17, forcing the center to close last week. Lloyd said they hope to reopen on Nov. 4.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.