PROSPERITY — Helping its youth to reach outside the walls of the church, Wightman United Methodist Church is now holding its second annual pumpkin patch located at 302 North Main St. in Prosperity at the walking track.
The fundraiser is to help fund future mission projects for Wightman’s youth group, according to Steven Douglas, youth director. The church received the pumpkins from the company Pumpkins USA, which specializes in fundraisers like this one.
The North Carolina company grows the pumpkins at a Navaho Indian reservation in New Mexico growing fields. Seeming to outnumber the success from last year’s fundraiser, Douglas said 680 pumpkins were ordered this year, but 250 more were just ordered to replenish the stock.
Douglas said the mission projects include their “Yard Crashers,” team, which cleans up yards in the community, Salkahatchie programs, and possibly a trip overseas to the Dominican Republic next summer.
“The youth at Wightman are active in and outside of the church,” Douglas said. “They really follow our motto to love God, love people, and do stuff.”
The pumpkin patch is run by members of Wightman’s youth group, as well as members of the congregation. It is open until Halloween from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and from noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. For times the patch is not open, a mailbox has been placed outside to place money for pumpkins purchased.
Douglas said pumpkin prices range from 50 cents to $30, depending on the size. New this year is an area where families and friends can pose for a group picture.
On Halloween night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Douglas said the pumpkin patch will close out with free inflatables, snow cones, games, and candy. Costumes are welcome.
Mckensey Turner, a member of Wightman’s youth, said she’s happy to participate and to help sell the pumpkins for her church.
“My youth group means a lot to me,” Turner said. “I’m excited to help raise money for the projects we want to do as a youth group in the future.”