St. Agatha youth spread Halloween joy

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WOONSOCKET — A group of 18 high school-age students sit at cafeteria-style tables in the basement of St. Agatha Church at 8 o’clock on Saturday night. They share anecdotes of the night’s activities and adventures as they hungrily munch on pizza. The teens have just come back from the fourth annual “Pumpkin Run.”

WOONSOCKET — A group of 18 high school-age students sit at cafeteria-style tables in the basement of St. Agatha Church at 8 o’clock on Saturday night. They share anecdotes of the night’s activities and adventures as they hungrily munch on pizza. The teens have just come back from the fourth annual “Pumpkin Run.”

The “Pumpkin Run” began four years ago in response to local pranksters smashing pumpkins on the doorsteps of many Woonsocket homes and buildings. Instead of stealing pumpkins, the youth of St. Agatha and Precious Blood parishes go out and leave pumpkins on the steps of local homes, normally residences of people who do not belong to the parishes. “We’re making a statement,” said Father Michael Sisco, “Instead of teenagers stealing pumpkins, we give them away.”

The idea is to leave the pumpkin on a doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run away into an awaiting car.

“It’s not about being recognized for doing something nice,” said Mike Tellier as he prepared the teens to go out on the annual run. “The point is not to get caught.”

Bryana Boucher, 14, said that her favorite part of the night was “the suspense of leaving it.” The youth run as fast as they can from the houses in an attempt not to get caught.

This year, the youth distributed 90 pumpkins. All of the pumpkins were tagged with a note that read, “Happy All Hallow’s E’en from the youth of St. Agatha and Precious Blood parishes. In a counter-cultural act of fellowship, we place this pumpkin on your doorstep and hope that you have a wonderful holiday.”

In the past, the parishes have received phone calls thanking them for these pumpkins. They have also had the police called on them. Thankfully, the police were not called this year.

The young stewards generously donate their time to this event.

C’Sondra Brabham, 17, participates because, “Not only is it fun, but it’s nice to do something good for someone. We’re not doing what typical teenagers do.”

The teens also try to perform additional good deeds along the way as they distribute the bright orange pumpkins.

“We even picked up a school committee sign on someone’s lawn to be good Samaritans,” said Kaitlyn Dalpe, 19.