PROSPECT — Thousands of pumpkins are rolling into town for the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Patch at St. Anthony Church.
From Oct. 8 through 31, over 2,000 pumpkins will be on sale to benefit the church’s HOPE ministry.
“It was very successful for us last year so we want to keep it going,” said Bob Schepis, co-chair of the pumpkin committee.
The HOPE ministry helps people both within the congregation and the town of Prospect at large who are having financial difficulty. The ministry offers assistance, connects people with lawyers and accountants who can help, and tries to determine the root cause of the problems and help individuals change their lifestyle so they don’t end up in need again.
“It’s for a good cause and that’s most of the reason we’ve done well last year and hopefully we continue to do well,” Schepis said.
In addition to pumpkins, the patch will have entertainment and activities for children, including bouncy houses, a maze, hay rides, a scarecrow for pictures and games like bean bag toss.
Volunteers are cooking hotdogs, hamburgers, and baked goods to sell on the weekends, when most people come by.
The weekends will also feature live entertainment, including karate demonstrations, country singing, and a performance by the Horgan Academy of Irish Dance Oct. 29.
During the week, the patch will entertain field trips from local schools, Schepis said.
The pumpkins are coming by truck from a Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico. The church doesn’t pay any money for the pumpkins upfront, but shares a percentage of the profit.
“It’s a good deal all the way around,” Schepis said.
Last year, the group brought in 2,500 pumpkins in two loads. Unsold pumpkins were donated to the Bridgeport Zoo and Goshen Wildlife to feed the animals.
With all those pumpkins and activities, St. Anthony’s needs plenty of volunteers. People can sign up for two to three hour shifts. The patch generally uses about 10 volunteers at any given time on the weekends and five during the week.
“We had no problem last year filling all the time slots,” Schepis said. “There’s enough there to help the folks out.”
Anyone interested in volunteering or finding our more about the patch can visit www.prospectpumpkinpatch.com.