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Club ushers in fall with annual Pumpkin Patch
Susan and Billy Edmunds, left, and their children, Kaytlin and Brandon, show off their pumpkins Saturday with the Pumpkin Lady, Debbie Padeuszynski, during the Richmond Hill Garden Clubs 14th annual Pumpkin Patch in J.F. Gregory Park. - photo by By Magdalena Bresson

In spite of unseasonably high temperatures on Saturday morning, the Richmond Hill Garden Club’s 14th annual Pumpkin Patch was the picture of fall splendor — and hundreds of visitors came out to J.F. Gregory Park to enjoy it.
Among the bales of hay, red and gold mums and straw scarecrows, event organizer Laurie Pommerenck and the ladies of the RHGC unloaded nearly 500 pumpkins to be sold during the club’s only fundraiser of the year.
Proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch help sustain RHGC operations throughout the year, but according to Pommerenck community involvement is what really makes the event so special.
“It’s funny,” Pommerenck said. “We see a lot of people who came to the Pumpkin Patch about 10 years ago with their parents. And now they’re coming with they’re kids. We’ve even set up a bunch of little vignettes for them to take pictures of their little ones in, and everyone’s just having a really good time.”
Richmond Hill families who came to the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday were in for a surprise if they thought that pumpkins were the main attraction. Kids of all ages were able to have their faces painted, sample home-baked cakes and breads from the bake sale and even win prizes from the various games set up throughout the pavilion.
And while most families did end up taking at least one pumpkin home, many agreed that just seeing their children have fun was the best prize of all.
“We’ve actually never been out here before,” said Lauren Waranke, who brought her friends and family to the Pumpkin Patch for the first time on Saturday and found a bouquet of mums to take home.
“Our husbands are out crabbing today, so we’re having somewhat of a ‘Crabaganza,’ you could say. But we definitely wanted to come out here first and check out the pumpkins.”
Small pumpkins were sold for about $2 each while large ones fell between $10 and $12. And while prices of most fall crops — including hay and pumpkins — have risen dramatically as a result of a rainy summer season, Pommerenck said she was determined to keep her prices low.

Read more in the Oct. 9 edition of the News.

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