Herald Mail Media, "Surgeons, chefs trying their hands at pumpkin carving"

Published October 5, 2016

Surgeons vs. Chefs Pumpkin Face-Off raising money for Discovery Station

By Meg H. Partington 

WILLIAMSPORT — Hands that typically are used for food preparation or surgery will be turning pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns for the benefit of children.

The third annual Surgeons vs. Chefs Pumpkin Face-off begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at Springfield Barn, off U.S. 11 in Williamsport. The event benefits Discovery Station at Hagerstown Inc.

Four surgeons and four chefs will be stationed on both floors of the barn, said Pat Kelley, interim executive director of Discovery Station and coordinator of event. Halloween-themed music will help set the mood for some seriously fun competition.

“I am very competitive in everything I do,” Dr. Gary Sherman of The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics said in an email. “However, this event is for a great cause and benefits exhibits provided by Discovery Station. It will definitely be fun, but my competitive spirit may get the best of me.”

Sherman said at home, his family uses stencils and has carved designs such as princesses and animals in their pumpkins, as well as simple smiley faces.

Sherman, 48, of Hagerstown, said he has a design in mind for the fundraisers, but, “I would like to refrain from giving away my secrets.”

He was forthcoming, though, about the tools he will utilize.

“Obviously I will be using cutting blades, chisels, sculpting kits, but most importantly, I will rely on a Dremel tool to do the finesse work,” Sherman said. “Nothing gives me more satisfaction then using power tools to create my design.”

The other surgeons on the roster are Drs. Stephen Sachs of Meritus Surgical Specialists; Brenda Paul, a dentist in Williamsport; and Laura Toso of Capital Women’s Care.

Alan Redding catered the event last year and thought it would be fun to be a pumpkin carver this year.

“I want to do this next year. Someone needs to invite me,” the manager of Desert Rose Cafe in Williamsport said he proclaimed repeatedly last year.

His wish was granted, and he has practiced on seven orange fruits so far.

Redding, 47, of Williamsport, said he has been working on face sculpting and floral arranging for his creation, which he said might be the “dead derby lady.”

Because the Williamsport Town Council member is also a chef, it’s fitting that he’ll offer some sustenance for those who stop by his table. A soup pot full of pumpkin chowder will be ready for sampling.

The “yummy deliciousness” is a recipe passed down through his family and served at the cafe, Redding said. It features fresh, roasted pumpkin, chicken stock, potato, corn and secret spices.

Sherman also is ready to sweeten the pot for attendees.

“There will be some offerings at my table,” Sherman said. They will include some “fun stuff, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to not have some candy for both the spirit of Halloween and for bribes.”

The other chefs who are trying their hand at turning pumpkins into art are E. Jay Zuspan III of 28 South; John Walla of Black Eyed Susan; and Karl Merten from Pretzel & Pizza Creations.

Kelley said emcee Tom Riford always has something whimsical to say about those who offer edibles at their carving station trying to buy votes.

Those votes matter. At $1 apiece, they add up to a people’s choice award for the one who amasses the most cash.

The jack-o’-lantern that commands the most money at the event’s auction will be named the grand-prize winner and its carver will be crowned the “pumpking” or “pumpqueen.”

To enhance the All Hallows’ Eve atmosphere, costumes are welcome, Kelley said.

The surgeons and chefs will be given an opportunity to be judges, deciding which male and which female in attendance are donning the best get-ups. The winners will earn tickets to Leitersburg Cinemas, Kelley said.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a worthy cause,” Kelley said of the event, which raises an average of $7,000 per year for Discovery Station. “We’re really expecting some fun things this year.”

WHAT: Third annual Surgeons vs. Chefs Pumpkin Face-off

WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10

WHERE: Springfield Barn, off U.S. 11, Williamsport

COST: $15

CONTACT: Go to DiscoveryStation.org; call 301-790-0076; or find Discovery Station at Hagerstown, Inc. on Facebook

MORE: Must be 21 or older to attend this fundraiser for Discovery Station at Hagerstown Inc.

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