The Prettiest Pumpkins

This 10 year old spreads halloween cheer to those in need

here aren’t many fifth graders who can call themselves artists and humanitarians. At 10, Rielly Rudolph is going into her fifth – fifth! – year of making hand-decorated pumpkins for young patients at Children’s Hospital of Michigan to be distributed around Halloween.

“When I was 5, we were painting pumpkins as decorations and I asked, ‘What do kids in the hospital do for Halloween?’” Rielly, who’s aiming for 100 pumpkins this month, says. Rielly’s No-Carve Pumpkins – they’re “no-carve” because jack-o’-lanterns are not allowed in hospitals – was born, and the University Prep Academy student recruits her classmates (and sometimes mommy and daddy, too) to adorn the small gourds with a variety of styles.

In five years, her artistic evolution is clear. When she was younger, she leaned toward covering pumpkins in feathers and other spangles. Now the pumpkins are a little more refined – some with sequined masks, some with glasses, but all made from the heart.

“I like to paint them and show my skills because I like to be creative,” Rielly says.

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