Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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"Pink" pumpkins raising money for cancer research

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: "Pink" pumpkins raising money for cancer research
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For organizations across the country, the economy has left donations hard to come by. They not only have to get creative, but also get some creative help. So one North Country family farm took its love for Halloween and turned it into the perfect fundraiser for October by growing pink pumpkins. Our Brian Dwyer has more.

ALEXANDRIA, N.Y. -- Every January, the Hunter family goes through the catalogs to pick out the pumpkins they'll grow each year for their stand. But this year, flipping through the pages, they noticed something different.

Seeds that would grow pink pumpkins. A way to raise money to help fight cancer. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there was no question those seeds would be a part of their order.

"My dad died of cancer," Suzanne Hunter of Hunter's Plessis Farm said. "We have friends who are breast cancer survivors and it's a good cause."

A growing season later and the Hunters have about 250 pink pumpkins. And they're a hit.

"We had a woman come right out to the stand," Hunter said. "She was a breast cancer survivor. She wanted a pink pumpkin. The slogan is a pink pumpkin on every porch."

The Hunters are selling the pumpkins for $5 and $10 and 25 cents goes to the national Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation and then half of the rest goes to the local Alexandria Bay Relay for Life team. The River Rompers are so grateful for the gesture.

"First of all, we've never heard of pink pumpkins before," team member Lisa Tillman said. "Second of all, to be thought of to be considered as an option for their donations."

"Every family, every person has met with cancer in one way or another," fellow member Heather McKinnon-Heath added. "Hopefully our team, the money we raise goes to local families."

But just how exactly did these pumpkins grow pink? Well the Hunters say they're not exactly sure, but they are probably not really pumpkins, instead more likely a cross between a pumpkin and a squash.

"They're very heavy compared to a regular pumpkin," Hunter said, also noticing their different shape. "You look at a pumpkin this size, you think it would be quite easy. They're very solid."

Hunter even thinks they can be carved, making the perfect Halloween decoration for every porch.

For more information on the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, head to pinkpumpkinpatch.org.

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