Small Pumpkin Patch Helping Big World Missions
By Mahoganie Reckley
The variety sized orange-colored balls of pumpkin goodness came clearly into focus as guests approached the corner of Mahan drive and north east Capital circle for Tallahassee Heights United Methodist church’s (THUM) 29th Annual “The Pumpkin Patch” event. Throughout the month of October THUM has been hosting this fun family friendly event as a way to increase donations for the missions it supports locally and abroad.
Saturday, Oct. 24 was a day filled with games, face-painting and a plethora of other activities that people could get involved in. People got a chance to enjoy fresh-made charbroiled hotdogs, hamburgers and other concessions as they searched for the one-of-a-kind pumpkin to take home with them.
Debbie Keeling a member of THUM has taken part in this event one way or another since its beginning but this year she chose to help by being a volunteer worker. She knows that by giving up a couple hours of her Saturdays she is making a difference somewhere.
“We began it (The Pumpkin Patch) and we have used it for (the support of) missions. We currently support many missions both local and abroad. Our church keeps ten percent of the proceeds to start next year’s patch and send 90 percent to missions” said Keeling.
Farmer Richard Hamby started “The Pumpkin Patch” in 1979 after meeting with a Methodist pastor in North Carolina and learning that the church had a financial need. He agreed to let them sell the pumpkins and they would share the proceeds. Over the years Farmer Hamby extended his offer to other churches in other towns. In 1986 he approached the Rev. Jim Rosenburg, the pastor at the time of Tallahassee Heights United Methodist Church and offered them the opportunity to become the first church in Tallahassee to have “The Pumpkin Patch”. Hamby liked their location.
The offer was accepted and 28 years ago they became known as “The Pumpkin Patch” church in Tallahassee. When the big truck arrives at THUM come late September, everyone knows it’s time for the congregation to unload the truck and place the pumpkins in their patch for the people in the community to enjoy and purchase. After the pumpkins arrive “The Pumpkin Patch” is open to the public every day. During the week, many school children arrive for story telling in “The Pumpkin Patch.”
Tycia Dennis, a first time attendee, came out with her family just to enjoy a day out in the community at an event everyone could enjoy.
“It is a good event that families can come out and have a good time and enjoy that doesn’t cost much with a whole lot to do” said Dennis.
“The Pumpkin Patch” at THUM brings a taste of fall to families in the community. Saturdays are especially fun as visitors can enjoy pony rides, bouncy rooms, face painting, special photo areas and music all free of charge. When asked ten years old Corbitt Decorgova had this to say about his favorite part of the day’s events.
“My favorite part has got to be the pumpkin picking and I would definitely come back next year.”