On October 22 the community gathered together at the Village Pointe Center Court for the eighth year of Omaha’s Great Pumpkin event to “Shine the Light on Foster Care and Adoption.” The event raises awareness for the children and teenagers in Nebraska’s foster care system, hundreds of whom are eligible and waiting to be adopted.

Over 1,000 pumpkins donated from Lanoha Nurseries were placed on the Omaha’s Great Pumpkin tree “branches.” Each pumpkin represents a Nebraska child waiting for a permanent home.

The day included a free family festival and pumpkin carving  with superheroes, a comedy magic show, a pumpkin pie-eating contest, music and entertainment. Throughout the day, Darren and Brenda Christensen, Nebraska’s record holders for largest pumpkin, carved a 300+ pound pumpkin for all to view.

At 7 p.m. the Shining the Light Celebration began with a brief overview of foster care and adoption in Nebraska, remarks from an LFS foster care family and Amanda Reinert, Mrs. Nebraska USA Universal 2016, followed by a tree lighting and a flash mob performance!

The event is organized by the Forever Families Guild, which provides volunteer support to children programs at Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska.

View the event conversation, pictures and videos on Twitter at #OmahasGreatPumpkin