HCN News & Notes

DiGrigoli School Brings Halloween to Baystate, Shriners Hospitals

SPRINGFIELD — This past Halloween, while children around Western Mass. were preparing their costumes and plotting their trick-or-treating routes, the students of DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology were loading up decorative pumpkins to deliver to those not able to celebrate the holiday at home — specifically, those who were hospitalized at Baystate Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children, both in Springfield.

Every year, Paul DiGrigoli, owner of DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology, purchases 60 pumpkins from a local farm for the annual school-wide pumpkin-design competition. “The goal is to get the students thinking creatively, while at the same time learning the importance of giving back to our community,” he said.

The students are free to design the pumpkins however they wish — from paint to glitter to elaborate add-ons. The designs are then judged, and prizes are awarded in advance of the Halloween holiday.

On Oct. 31, six costumed students, along with staff member Kelsey Goulding, loaded up the most kid-friendly and festive pumpkins and made the rounds at Baystate and Shriners. Some of the pumpkin designs included characters from Monsters Inc., SpongeBob SquarePants, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Lilo & Stitch, and more.

“The students love being able to do this,” said Goulding. “Many of them have younger siblings or children themselves, so they really enjoy being able to help in any small way.”