Four-year-old Colin Gallahue picked the perfect pumpkin.
"I am going to carve out holes (for eyes), a nose and a smile," he said while proudly holding the small pumpkin he found in Wesley United Methodist Church's pumpkin patch.
For each of Vicki Gallahue's four children, choosing their own pumpkin to decorate is a fall tradition, even for Madison, 2, who picked out her first pumpkin with her siblings Wednesday afternoon.
"They love this," Vicki Gallahue of Evans said. "They have been dying for this. We are very excited."
Wesley's patch sells pumpkins with a purpose. Sale proceeds will go toward the church's Honduras Outreach Team, which makes mission trips to the Algata Valley in central Honduras, an area with the highest rates of infant mortality and poverty in the country.
"A group of volunteers goes to Honduras, and we are raising money for the supplies they need to go there," said Linda Jolley, church administrative assistant and pumpkin patch organizer.
Colin Gallahue, 4, holds up his pumpkin selection at the church pumpkin patch.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
More than 30 volunteers built latrines for Honduran people during a trip in July. At least 50 volunteers are expected to make the trip next summer. Though the work is different each time, the group provides varied services while in Honduras, including medical and construction aid.
A hay ride kicked off the church's pumpkin sales Wednesday at its patch, which holds tiny to huge pumpkins and photographs of children. A steady stream of pumpkin buyers kept Jolley and the other volunteers busy on their first day of sales.
Tuesday afternoon, volunteers unloaded 1,013 pumpkins in less than 1 1/2 hours, Jolley said.
The patch is in the field in front of the church, 825 North Belair Road, Evans, and is open daily until Halloween night from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
This is the church's first year holding a pumpkin patch, but Jolley said if it goes well, Pumpkins with a Purpose could become an annual event.
"It's fun," Jolley said, "and the kids are having a good time."
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