CANCELLED | GUTS | Benefiting Make-A-Wish® Nebraska

GUTS 2017 has been cancelled, however, we encourage you to donate to Make-a-Wish Nebraska. Click here to donate.


What is GUTS?

GUTS is a friendly pumpkin carving competition founded by a marketing agency in Charlotte, North Carolina. What began as an internal team building event has grown into a community-wide event. The primary goal of this event is to unify the creative community in support of the kids who fight the real fight every day at Make-A-Wish®.

Although GUTS has been around for 9 years, AIGA Nebraska is proud to make 2017 the first year for GUTS in Nebraska!

The competition is open to local and regional community members that want to test their pumpkin carving skills, and more importantly, raise money for the brave kids of Make-A-Wish Foundation. We raise money through ticket sales, carver's registration fees, sales of creatively carved pumpkins, food, drink and merchandise sold at the event. And, for those who can't make it or would like to do a little extra, we invite anyone, anywhere, to contribute making a wish come true by donating.

About Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. This simple, but powerful belief inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish and drives everything that they do. Their mission statement is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to the results of a 2011 Wish Impact Study that surveyed wish parents, health professionals and volunteers, a wish come true empowers children with life-threatening medical conditions to fight harder against the illnesses. Make-A-Wish and GUTS believe that a wish experience can be a game changer. GUTS and AIGA Nebraska can help grant wishes and change the life of a child battling life-threatening illness.

How to Compete

The competition is open to anyone in the community. Carvers may carve in teams of one, or in teams of two. All carvers must be pre-registered prior to the competition date. The fee for each carving team is $50. (Team of two costs $50. Team of one cost $50). The fee includes an exclusive GUTS t-shirt. All proceeds of the fee will be donated to Make-A-Wish Nebraska®.

 Silent Auction*

A silent auction is conducted during and after the 90 minutes carving time in which the attendees are able to bid on and win a pumpkin to take home and proudly display as a work of art. Each pumpkin is given a bid sheet. All attendees are encouraged to bid on a pumpkins! The proceeds of this the silent auction will be donated to Make-A-Wish Nebraska.

*GUTS OWNERSHIP DISCLOSURE: By entering, you are forfeiting your creation to the cause. Unless you are the high bidder for your own pumpkin, you will not be taking your creation home, unless no one bids on your pumpkin, in which case you are responsible for removing it from the premises.

The Rules

Each team must provide their own pumpkin(s). The pumpkin(s) must be gutted prior to the competition to save time and reduce on-site mess. There is no limit to the size or number of pumpkins you can incorporate into your final piece.

  • Each team must provide their own carving tools, or you may purchase a carving tool set during registration for $5.

  • Other than planning, no other prep work may be done on the carvers’ pumpkin(s) (drawing, scoring, pre-cutting, etc) prior to event. Doing so will result in disqualification.

  • Carving time is 90 minutes.

  • Each team must have at least one pumpkin.

  • Carver may incorporate multiple pumpkins, gourds, and similar materials as accessories or in support of entry.

  • Props may be used, but they cannot comprise the majority of your design. Keep in mind that this is a pumpkin carving contest and carving skills are what will be evaluated most heavily by the judges.

  • Power tools are acceptable, but they must have their own power source (no power will be provided).

  • Lighting the pumpkin is not necessary. If you chose to do so, you must provide a light with its own power source.

  • The final creation will need to be able to be moved from the carving table to the buyer’s car if it is purchased in the silent auction. If a team entry is being created that is large, it must be structurally sound enough to be moved.

  • You may decorate your table, but you will only be judged on your pumpkin.

Judging and Scoring

Pumpkin carvers are given 90 minutes to carve their award winning pumpkin. The pumpkins are judged by 3 local leaders in the community 1 child judge, and by the local community that attends. Prizes are awarded to the top three winners, and a fourth award will be given to the People’s Choice winner. Every GUTS judge gives each entry a score in the range of 1-10 (1 being the worst, 10 being the best). Each entry will receive a cumulative score in the range of 4-40. The team that bring in the highest auction bid will get an additional 1.5 points. Any team caught breaking any rules will receive a 1.5 point deduction from their total score.

Donating to Make-A-Wish

We will be accepting free-will donations for Make-A-Wish from now through October 31st. We will accept donations on the day of the event via check, cash or card. You may also donate online, even if you're unable to attend our event. Donation link to come.



Carvers arrive at the AllPlay Complex (Seymour Smith Park) and set up their carving stations.


The public is welcome to arrive at 1:00 pm. We’ll have a live DJ, kids craft stations, games, raffle, a bake sale, hot cocoa and apple cider. We will also be accepting free will donations for Make-A-Wish throughout the entire event.

1:30 pm READY, SET, CARVE!

Carving begins and guests are welcome to arrive and enjoy the festivities. 90 minutes of furious pumpkin carving action ensues.


Judges will be making their rounds, scoring each entry. Bidders can begin placing their bids in the silent auction. Attendees can place their People’s Choice vote.


We announced the winners of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as People’s Choice. Winners of silent auctions can take their pumpkins.


Event ends.



When & Where
Sat, Oct 21, 2017 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM CDT
AllPlay Complex in Seymour Smith Park
6802 Harrison St
Omaha, NE 68127