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 RASTA Sanctuary animals

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

 

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

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Stz’uminus artist Luke Marston designs new mask for Canucks goalie

The mask features artwork inspired by the Coast Salish legend of the sea wolf

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Ladysmith school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

Emergency services were on scene at 1st Avenue and Warren Street after a skateboarder was struck by a vehicle. (Submitted photo)
Skateboarder ‘bumped’ by vehicle on 1st Avenue

Emergency services personnel say the skateboarder is uninjured

Parents Robin Ringer and Wyatt Gilmore with the No. 1 baby of 2021 in the Cowichan Valley. They have yet to decide on a name for her. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus couple excited about having the New Year’s baby for the Cowichan Valley

Recent arrivals from Fort Nelson celebrate their girl coming into the world on Jan. 7

Regional District of Nanaimo’s transit select committee is expected to vote on a recommendation that could see busing between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo staff recommending bus route to Cowichan Valley

More than 1,900 survey respondents expressed support for inter-regional transit, notes RDN report

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read