Local civic groups and churches in Jefferson County raised $110,000 for charity through pumpkin patches in Lakewood and Arvada this year. Jeffco Interfaith Partners sold 8,000 pumpkins at two volunteer-run pumpkin patches, the proceeds of which will benefit Pumpkins USA and Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver.
This year marked the 23rd year Jeffco Interfaith Partners hosted its pumpkin patch, which began in Lakewood but expanded to the second location in Arvada over a decade ago. Sixty percent of the pumpkin patch proceeds will go to Pumpkins USA, a non-profit grower on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico; the remaining 40% will go to Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver.
Jeffco Interfaith Partners is made up of a number of community and church groups including the Arvada-Jefferson Kiwanis Club, Arvada and Green Mountain United Methodist Churches, Jefferson Unitarian Church, St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, Arvada and Front Range Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other religious organizations.
The pumpkin patches are entirely volunteer-run. Carolyn Williams and her husband Alan have volunteered at the Arvada pumpkin patch for the last 15 years and ran that site this year.
Williams said she initially got involved after her youngest child went off to college and she wanted to be a part of a good cause.
“Our youngest child was going off to college,” Williams said. “It was an empty nest project. Band parents are pretty active in the fall; we knew there would be a big gap and it felt like a good thing we could help out with. It became something so much bigger.”
Williams also said the community feel of the pumpkin patch keeps her coming back since folks go with the intention of supporting a good cause.
“Everyone is so generous and wonderful about supporting Habitat,” Williams said. “Many people tell us they come every year. Kids bring their friends. It’s a tradition for a lot of people, but we get a lot of new people every year and they seem pleased.
“People are willing to pay a premium above grocery store prices because they know what they’re doing and why,” Williams continued.
Jeffco Interfaith Partners has been working to support housing in Jefferson County for over 25 years.
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