Alabaster pumpkin patch kicks off Sept. 29Published 10:22am Wednesday, September 25, 2013
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
When folks ask First Presbyterian Church of Alabaster office administrator Denise Barnes which church she attends, her answer is always simple.
“I tell people it’s the pumpkin church, and they immediately know what I’m talking about,” Barnes said with a laugh. “We sort of serve as the official kick-off for fall.”
Each year since 2000, church members have unloaded and sold thousands of pumpkins from New Mexico to raise money for charity.
On Sept. 29, the church congregation and the Thompson High School football team will be ready when the 18-wheeler packed with nearly 3,000 pumpkins rolls into the parking lot.
“It will be so nice to have that extra manpower out there with the football team,” Barnes said. “It’s also neat because it will be right after homecoming week.”
When the back of the truck opens, the church members and the football players will form a “human assembly line” to move the orange orbs from the trailer to the church’s grounds, said church member Camille Herron.
Once the pumpkins are unloaded, church volunteers will be on site every day through Oct. 31 selling the pumpkins to raise money for local charities SafeHouse of Shelby County and Shelby Emergency Assistance. All money raised through the patch is donated to the charities.
Last year, the church raised more than $19,000 for the local charities, and is looking to top the number this year, Barnes said.
The pumpkins will be for sale from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. every day from Sept. 29-Oct. 31. On Sundays, the patch will open in the early afternoon hours after church services. First Presbyterian Church is located at 8828 Alabama 119.
“The Pumpkin Patch is more than a fundraiser, it’s an event that reaches into the community and congregation,” Barnes said. “We are proud to have the opportunity to spend our time doing something so rewarding and giving back to the community, and giving the community an opportunity to serve and help others by purchasing pumpkins.”