People who buy a pumpkin from St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church get a lot for their money.
Besides purchasing a fall decoration, they’re supporting missionaries in Ecuador and local charities such as Community Ministry of North Augusta. They help pay for Vacation Bible School, the parish retreat, Angel Tree and more.
“It’s why people come back,” said church member and volunteer Cathy Sligh, who was in charge of the sales table Sunday during Pumpkinfest, a special day of activities that included a bluegrass worship service “in the Patch,” story time for families, live music, vendors and barbecue.
This year, the church started with 8,000 pumpkins – grown in Chester, S.C., and unloaded from a tractor-trailer by members and volunteers – and will sell most of them. Pumpkins that rot go to Icebox Ministries, which raises pigs and grows organic crops, among other things.
Some of the proceeds this year could end up helping hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, Sligh said.
“It kind of depends on where we feel the need is after the Pumpkin Patch is over,” she said.
It all started as a fundraiser to buy an organ in 1995. That goal was accomplished long ago, but the pumpkin sales and good works have continued.
“It’s strictly for outreach,” Sligh said.
The sale will continue until Oct. 28, or until all the pumpkins are gone. The Patch is open from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-7 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, contact the church at (803) 279-4622. The Patch is at 417 W. Martintown Road, in North Augusta.