Alaska ferry plays the Great Pumpkin

Posted: Monday, October 16, 2000

KODIAK - Jack-o'-lantern grins will be seen again along the Aleutian chain this Halloween thanks to the ferry Tustumena and the Alaska Marine Highway System.

More than 3,000 pounds of pumpkins were distributed recently to children at Chignik, Sand Point, King Cove, Cold Bay, False Pass, Akutan and Dutch Harbor, officials said.

The drops were made during the Tustumena's last Aleutian trip this year.

"The kids were great," said purser Barbara Greene Pearson. "It's a great story."

The Pumpkinfest program began three years ago, said Don Darnell, a seaman aboard the Tustumena and one of the organizers.

"One of the crew members, Bea Whitman, discovered what a tremendous expense it is for kids to get pumpkins out on the chain," Darnell told the Kodiak Daily Mirror. "We had an idea to get the pumpkins out (to the kids) and the crew pitched in."

The Kodiak Safeway store joined Tustumena crew members last year in sponsoring the event.

Barbara Abbott flew to Kodiak from New Mexico to help distribute the pumpkins and hand out candy.

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