Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes await Saturday delivery for Jackson Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
While this is the 43rd anniversary of the pumpkin sale, it’s going to look a lot different than years past in an effort to follow coronavirus safety measures.
What has for years looked like a grand pumpkin patch in the middle of Town Square, filled with over-excited little children crawling over the bright orange orbs, will this weekend be a pumpkin drive-thru at Jackson Elementary School.
For executive committee president Andrea Oxman, it was a hard decision to change the event, but everyone’s highest priority is the health and safety of the community, she said.
“We’re sorry it’s not going to be, you know, the big community event that it typically is,” Oxman said, “but we’re hoping we can still make it a fundraiser and still make it fun for the kids.”
While the event is designed for people to drive through, pick up their pre-purchased pumpkins and drive off, Oxman said the PTO has set up a spot for families that want pictures of their little ones with their pumpkins at the back playground, looking out across the National Elk Refuge and the Teton Range. The nonprofit will charge $5 for the photo op.
Aside from the photo setup, Oxman said the organization is treating this year’s sale more like a fundraiser rather than an event. The PTO is depending on the community to continue to support despite changes, she said.
“It is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and it funds all of our enrichment programs,” Oxman said.
Proceeds go for supplies that are not available through Teton County School District and the educational grant program, Oxman said. In the past each grade was allocated $500 for teachers use on excursions or guest speakers tied in with their lessons. Last school year Wyoming Stargazing visited and set up a planetarium, Teton Raptor Center did a presentation and the second grade bought new STEM materials.
This year all pumpkins will be ordered and paid for in advance online at sites.google.com/view/jes-pto/events. There are five pumpkin sizes available, from mini ($4) to extra large ($15). Order pick-up is 9-11 a.m.: Those whose last names begin with A-L will come by 9-10 a.m. with last names M-Z coming 10-11 a.m.
At 11 a.m. people who did not pre-order can stop by and purchase any left over pumpkins, but Oxman said in past years the patch has run dry, so if you’re looking for pumpkins this October, get them while you can. ￼