Carve for a Cause Creates Smiles, Hope

November 26th, 2013 by Sean Mahoney

Marianne Murray is one of those rare people with the power to motivate and inspire a community and make a big difference in the lives of others.

Murray is the founder of “Carve for a Cause,” an annual event in New Paltz that has been raising hope and funds for area not-for-profits since 2007.

Each year, more than 400 guests attend Carve for a Cause to carve and decorate pumpkins, get their faces painted, enjoy a pie-eating contest, take in a scarecrow exhibit, bid on raffle items and even win prizes for their decorated pumpkins.

Each attending family pays $25 for tickets and the planning team also seeks sponsorships, donations and event assistance.  The result is a leanly run event that has raised a total of $164,000 over the last five years for the following organizations:

  • St. John Bosco Child & Family Services
  • Family Domestic Violence Services
  • Queen’s Galley Soup Kitchen
  • Farm to Food Pantry Project

volunteerFor Marianne Murray, the event, which she’s been considering doing for many years, is a dream come true. “The most exciting part is seeing everyone gathered under this big, beautiful tent on event day. You see the vision turn into reality… A lot of people want to come back year and after year.  Also, the cycle of ‘you’re really doing something good here’ has started to stick with people. Children who used to be attendees are now coming back as volunteers.”

M&T has sponsored the organization since 2009 and this year plans to be even more involved by providing employee volunteers.