The cover of the 2021 RASTA calendar. (Photo submitted)

The cover of the 2021 RASTA calendar. (Photo submitted)

Smashed pumpkins provide a royal Thanksgiving feast for animals at Island sanctuary

Substantial community donations to purchase pumpkins surpasses the initial goal

The only thing missing from an otherwise perfect day was an impromptu Smashing Pumpkins concert.

The annual Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash at the Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals on Chemainus Road was another smashing good time. All the resident animals enjoyed a fabulous feast made possible by donations from numerous community supporters.

“The event was a success in that we were able to reach and surpass our fundraising goal of 100 pumpkins and all the animals loved devouring them,” noted RASTA Sanctuary’s Lucie Cerny. “The event was primarily online in that we did a livestream of the animals enjoying their pumpkins for all of our followers to see, but we also smashed the pumpkins strategically in view of Chemainus Road so that those who wished to stop by and watch from the road in a safe, socially distant way, were able to.

“Normally we’d invite our many wonderful supporters out to the Sanctuary to partake in the Pumpkin Smash, as has been our yearly tradition, but unfortunately due to the restrictions of COVID-19 that’s just not an option for us this year.”

There was an extra five pumpkins in the patch after purchases from the donations. They were smashed on Thanksgiving afternoon for the residents to eat and, boy, did they get into it. You could see by their faces, some covered in orange residue, that it was an enjoyable experience.

The RASTA Sanctuary is currently home to more than 100 rescued residents of various species, including donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, potbelly pigs, turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens, cats, one horse, a steer, a cow and one dog.

Related: Animals find a forever home and a new lease on life at RASTA Sanctuary in Chemainus

Besides the bounty of pumpkins, there was a little extra to help us with upcoming winter bedding costs, according to Cerny. Straw and shavings are used as bedding to help keep the animals warm and dry throughout the winter months.

It was an absolutely perfect day for the event.

“Mother Nature was definitely smiling down on us as we celebrated Thanksgiving with a Pumpkin Smash for the animals because just the day before it was pouring rain and once again the next day, it was pouring,” Cerny pointed out.

There were mini lakes on the property everywhere, she added, “and the only ones brave enough to bear the torrential downpour are Prince and Buddy as they scavenge for leftover pumpkins.”

Overall, “it’s been a rather challenging year for us due to COVID,” Cerny indicated. “Unfortunately we had to cancel all of our summer events and tours at the Sanctuary which has made fundraising more difficult.

“At the moment our 2021 Sanctuary Calendars are our one and only fundraiser so we’re putting a lot of effort into promoting those. Next year will officially mark RASTA’s 20th year anniversary and so the calendars we created are extra special and even include a beautiful centerfold!”

The 2021 Sanctuary calendars feature more than 50 spectacular images captured by world renowned photographer Sammantha Fisher and Vancouver Island’s own Andrew Hill.

Due to the challenges of COVID-19, the calendars are only being sold online in limited supply for $20 each. For ordering instructions, email RastaCalendars@gmail.com. Cerny advised if you don’t receive a reply within a few minutes, be sure to check your spam and/or promotion folders.

Animal Sheltersanimal welfarefundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The cover of the 2021 RASTA calendar. (Photo submitted)

The cover of the 2021 RASTA calendar. (Photo submitted)

Chico definitely won the prize for ‘who wore it best?’ at the Oct. 12 Pumpkin Smash event at RASTA Sanctuary. Lucie Cerny was grateful to all those who donated and joined for the livestream. (Photo submitted)

Chico definitely won the prize for ‘who wore it best?’ at the Oct. 12 Pumpkin Smash event at RASTA Sanctuary. Lucie Cerny was grateful to all those who donated and joined for the livestream. (Photo submitted)

Sam the Lamb digs into a pumpkin during his first-ever Pumpkin Smash. It’s always such a nice treat to provide a special day for all the animals here, says RASTA Sanctuary CEO Lucie Cerny, and “we couldn’t do it without everyone’s generous support.” (Photo submitted)

Sam the Lamb digs into a pumpkin during his first-ever Pumpkin Smash. It’s always such a nice treat to provide a special day for all the animals here, says RASTA Sanctuary CEO Lucie Cerny, and “we couldn’t do it without everyone’s generous support.” (Photo submitted)

Widget, RASTA’s senior potbelly pig, enjoying his treats. (Photo submitted)

Widget, RASTA’s senior potbelly pig, enjoying his treats. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Chantal Schwark, left with Gerri Gill and Elle Schwark, 11 months old in the pumpkin patch at Arrowvale Farm. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Alberni Valley News)
Final day for Arrowvale pumpkin patch is Oct. 25

Drive down to the patch and pick your own pumpkin

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

(The Canadian Press)
Overdose advisory issued for Alberni Valley

Island Health warns of increased number of overdoses in central Vancouver Island community

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO
School District 70 gets a new name

Name change reflects district’s West Coast roots

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read