BREMEN — With a sweet idea for a pumpkin, Bremen BP Bellmart's double-scoop ice cream cone made out of pumpkins won the inaugural Bremen Shopping Plaza pumpkin decorating contest, hosted by H&R Block.

Designed by Mary Urban, this cone can be found in front of the gas station and comprises two pumpkin "scoops" and a red pumpkin "cherry" on top.

Plaza patrons were able to vote for their favorite pumpkin by putting money in the box of their favorite. Each business chose a charity to benefit, and all proceeds earned from the contest were set to go to the winner's choice.

BP chose to benefit Grace Food Pantry, with $191.27 raised from the contest; H&R Block rounded the donation up to an even $200, and Anita Huff was present to accept the funds.

Participating businesses were Bellmart ($92.76, Grace Food Pantry); JS Appliance ($9.91, Riley Hospital for Children); Horse and Saddle Shop ($11.87, Therapeutic Horseback Riding); H&R Block ($38, Back the Blue Paw); and CarQuest ($38.73, Historic Bremen).

Rhonda Cassel of H&R Block said they plan to make this an annual tradition for the shopping plaza, and already have more ideas for bringing those businesses together.

"We figured it was a way for us just to have some fun," she said. "It's exciting that the plaza has near-full occupancy, so we want to celebrate that with things like this."

Huff said that she and others in the area loved to see the rise in popularity in the area.

"A lot of us are just so glad to see more businesses here; it's exciting to see people coming around," she said.

And earning some funds for the food pantry was just the pumpkin-cherry on top.

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