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Pumpkin Patch draws record turnout

More than 1,000 people flocked to J.F. Gregory Park on Saturday for the Richmond Hill Garden Club’s annual Pumpkin Patch event.

Each year, the club counts on this event to help fund their activities for the year, and they were not disappointed as they raked in more than $3,000.

"This is the best turnout we’ve ever had and we’re very happy about it," Club member Melodie Scofield said.

In addition to selling 550 pumpkins, the club sold mums and tickets to several activities – all of which were a booming success, according to Club President Mary Burns.

She said 361 kids got their faces painted while more than 500 participants took part in the bean toss and fishing pond activities.

Burns said the event generates the funding necessary to maintain gardens here in the park, the library, the primary school and a future garden on the YMCA grounds near the library.

"We also support a lot of different organizations like the LeConte-Woodmanston efforts and the Georgia Garden Club scholarship funds," Burns said.

It was clear that the event was a success come noon when, after all pumpkins sold out, attendees started buying up the décor, such as the corn stocks and bails of hay that accented the pumpkin patch.

The event was advertised to go on until 1 p.m., and families were still lined up throughout the length of the pavilion for other activities, such as having balloon animals made.

Burns said she will have to buy more pumpkins next year in order to keep up with the growing popularity of the event. She said she was worried about ordering too much and was concerned with the potential due to the state of the economy, but her fears quickly diminished within the first few minutes of the event.

"There has been a constant flow since 9 a.m.," club member Dorothy Ebert said.

"We couldn’t do it without the city’s help," Burns said. "(Parks Director) Harvey Lashley and his crew put up the fencing and have been a big help. This also wouldn’t be possible without all the club members helping out as well."

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