Smashed pumpkins provide a royal Thanksgiving feast for RASTA Sanctuary animals

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

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 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

Just Posted

Kendra Thomas from Warmland Women’s Support Services invites Cowichan residents to find out more about youth sex trafficking with an online event Nov. 16, 2020. (File photo)
Learn more about youth sex trafficking with ‘Love Bombing 101’

Nov. 22-28 is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

Pnina Benyamini loved to be around people and people loved her. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic Chemainus woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone has been re-elected as chairman of the board at the CVRD. (File photo)
Aaron Stone re-elected as chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Blaise Salmon, director for Mill Bay/Malahat, elected as new vice-chairman

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read