October 20, 2021

BY SHARON SAMUELsspumpkindonation

How many pumpkins did you carve for Halloween? One, two? Meet the woman who made 100 jack-o’-lanterns to raise money for charity.

Kara Klypycz, 39, of Cambridge, has been raising money since September for the United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries, an organization that improves the lives of people in the community.

“It’s a non-profit. They work with about 20 agencies in this area to help people basically move out of poverty,” she said. “So, there is a connection with the food bank, they help with some adult literacy programs, they also work with children’s social programs.”

Klypycz has been carving multiple pumpkins for years, and last year carved 75 of them. The media, including the Waterloo Region Record, and many area residents came to see the display, she said. So, Klypycz and her husband came up with the idea of raising money for charity and doing something for the community that would last a little longer than Halloween night.

“Last year I didn’t do a campaign. We were in the paper as an artist,” she said. “People (were) coming to see the display. Since last year was my biggest attempt, 75 pumpkins, the media came. So just seeing all the people come and getting all the feedback, this year we decided to raise money.”

People could donate any amount. One little girl who came to the door dressed as Elsa from the movie Frozen dropped a $5 bill into the donation box and asked Klypycz to carve a princess.

“Most of my carved (pumpkins) in the last couple of years have been focused on things my son is interested in,” said Klypycz. “Last year he was just three and he wanted superheroes. So, I did all of the heroes and all of the villains.”

Aidan Lindhardsen, her son who is now four years old, was obsessed with sharks this year and so Klypycz decided to carve creatures in the sea.

“I have got some sharks that I have already carved,” she said. “I have carved jellyfish, tropical fish, whales, more sharks, stingrays, sea horses, octopus, anything under the sea you can think of.”

These carved pumpkins were on display on the night of Halloween outside her house, on the front lawn. Klypycz said she was dressed like a mermaid and her son was a shark. Her husband joined them by being a pirate.

On Oct. 2, the family went to harvest pumpkins at Snyder’s Family Farm, which supports her by giving her all of the pumpkins for free.

“We go out into the fields with our gloves and our workboots and we pull them right off (of) the vine and put them in the truck,” said Klypycz.

“We have done that since Aidan was able to walk, all together as a family. It’s a pumpkin harvesting day.”

She said she always finds ways to do things to the fullest and since residents come and see her display of jack-o’-lanterns, she wanted it to benefit others as well.

“We all come together for Halloween, so why can’t we come together every other day,” said Klypycz. “They (the United Way) are great supporters and they have these connections that put people in the right programs; it just seems like a perfect match.”

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