By DEBORAH BEHRENDS
ROCKY FORD, Colo. — The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation has announced it will provide to FFA chapters free Porcelain Doll pumpkin seeds so they can grow and sell pumpkins to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Each chapter can get up to 5,000 seeds with the understanding that at least half the sale proceeds are donated back to the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation for the research. All proceeds may be donated instead, but if the chapter decides to keep up to half, that money may be used for growing expenses or any other chapter funding needs.
This idea for this offer came after an FFA member reached out to the Foundation. Maggie Roth, 15, an enthusiastic member of the Holcomb FFA Chapter in Holcomb, Kan., discovered the foundation and its mission of combating breast cancer when she was searching for a project for her chapter.
“The FFA motto is ‘learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve,’ and I knew that if this foundation inspired me, many of my fellow FFA members would be inspired as well,” Roth said.
“I was shocked when I heard that breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and that one in every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life. And as many of my relatives have had cancer, this is a very personal cause for me. I believe the money the FFA chapters as a whole can raise will bring us closer to finding a cure.”
“Maggie is such a special young lady and I am really excited to be collaborating with her,” said Don Goodwin, president of the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation. “Her enthusiasm and take-charge attitude will inspire other FFA chapters across the U.S. to join us in the fight against breast cancer, a disease that so many of us have, unfortunately, experienced personally.”
Along with making seed available, the foundation also is offering marketing support.
“Once they get their seed, (chapters) can send out releases in the local area for the fundraiser, and we can help with that outreach by providing press release templates,” said Jen Velasquez, the foundation’s marketing volunteer.
Chapters interested should call Pam Guigley at 717-367-0595 at Seedway, the seed provider. While there is no deadline, Velasquez said pumpkins are typically planted in late April or early May to be ready for October sales.
Velasquez said participating chapters will be required to sign a contract agreeing to donate at least 50 percent of the proceeds back to the foundation. The pumpkins will be available for purchase through FFA fundraisers, as well as national retailers and at local pumpkin patches in time for both Halloween and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation was created in 2012 to aid in the fight against breast cancer. The foundation is made up of American pumpkin growers who have committed to giving a percentage of proceeds from every pink pumpkin sold to organizations involved in breast cancer research.
The foundation says it will oversee the donations and ensure the funds go directly to reputable organizations with the highest percentage of dollars spent on actual research.
For additional information about the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation and its pumpkins, visit www.PinkPumpkin Patch.org