Jack-O-Lanterns: Bring on Your Best Face!

"Just Jacks" Scholarship Fundraiser and Competition


A part of the Gourd Gathering at Cherokee is fundraising efforts to benefit gourd societies and art initiatives around the country.  Last year, from the ornament competition and the white elephant table sales, we raised enough money to offer nine one-hundred dollar scholarships that were given to the state gourd societies that participated the most in the competitions. It was suggested, but not required, that the scholarships be used to help new and/or younger attendees travel to Cherokee this year. 

In 2019, our competition/fundraising activity will be “Just Jacks”.

Participants will enter their gourd Jack-O-Lantern into one of two divisions and one of four categories within the division.  

All entries will be judged by certified judges, and ribbons and monetary prizes will be awarded.  

Participants understand that their entries are a donation to the silent auction and will be sold.  Proceeds raised from the “Just Jack” silent auction will be divided into $100 Gourd Gathering Scholarships which will be donated to selected state gourd societies.  These selected gourds societies will be able to use the scholarships as they deem appropriate within their societies.

The fine print….

  • Entries must be received at the Gourd Gathering no later than 12Noon Friday, May 31, 2019.  
  • Participant(s) will enter themselves into one of the following two Divisions:
    • Novice - Gourds are fun and I like to design projects  for my own purpose and may provide them as gifts to family andco-workers.
    • Advanced - Gourds are fun and I like to design projects for my own  purpose and may provide them as gifts to family and co-workers, BUT I  also teach gourd art techniques and projects for a profit, sell my finished work at shows and festivals, and/or display my gourds in art guilds and art galleries.

  • Entries will be entered into one of the following two Categories:
    • Gourd Just Painted
    • Gourd Cut or Carved
    • Gourd Sculpted
    • More than one  gourd or technique
  • Participants may enter only one (1) piece per category.
  • Entries will be judged by certified judges and scored based on 50% Technique and 50% Artistry.
  • Winning entries  will receive the following:  1st Place - Ribbon and $30 Gourd Bucks, 2nd Place - Ribbon and $20 Gourd Bucks, and 3rd Place - Ribbon and $10 Gourd Bucks.
  • All entries will be displayed and sold in the Gourd Ornament Silent auction.

2018 Cherokee Scholarships

There have been many discussions about helping our village of gourders grow by encouraging younger gourders to become involved and by bringing new attendees to Cherokee.

For the 2018 Gourd Gathering, we put some money where it counted.

Thirty-seven gourd artisans created ornaments which were entered into a competition, then auctioned to raise scholarship funds. Due to the success of the ornament competition and auction, and the White Elephant Table this year, NINE scholarships for the 2019 Gourd Gathering are being awarded.  A special thanks to those who made these scholarships possible--those who attended, those who created beautiful ornaments, and those who bid on them, and those who donated, bought, and ran the White Elephant table.

Eight state organizations will receive $100 certificates for class registrations in 2019, to be administered as they see fit.  A ninth certificate is awarded to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, which has welcomed and supported our Gourd Gathering for over fifteen years.  Congratulations to Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. These states were selected based on attendance at the Gathering and participation in the ornament competition and auction. 

 We look forward to welcoming the recipients to Cherokee in 2019.