By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Nile Garden continues fall tradition
Kindergartener Luis Tony Salcedo strains as he tries to determine if the pumpkin he is carrying is the one that he wants to purchase. After further browsing through the make-shift pumpkin patch in front of Nile Garden School, he settled for a smaller one. The Community Clubs annual pumpkin sale was held Thursday. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

You know Halloween is around the corner when the bright orange gourds appear on the grassy lawn in front of Nile Garden School.

This annual fund-raiser sponsored by the school’s Community Club has become a time-honored tradition for more than two decades. Its purpose is two-fold: One is to raise money for the club’s general fund which is then given back to the school in the form of picnic tables, stage lights in the cafeteria when it’s used as a performing venue, sports uniforms for athletes, and money to help send students to the annual outdoor education field trip formerly known as science camp. The other is to give Cougar students and their families an opportunity to purchase very affordably priced pumpkins that they can take home to use as holiday décor or to carve into jack-‘o-lanterns for Halloween.

The students had that opportunity Thursday when nearly a dozen giant boxes of pumpkins from Fonseca Farms were delivered to the school in the morning. Each classroom, starting with the kindergarteners, was then allowed to browse through the make-shift pumpkin patch – the lawn in front of the school – where they selected the shiny and colorful gourd they wanted to buy. The prices, which were based on size, ranged from $1 apiece for the smallest to $3 for the bigger ones.

“Not bad at all,” parent Jennifer Calhoun commented about the pricing. Her son Marty, who is in kindergarten, selected a $2 medium-sized pumpkin.

“We’re going to make a jack-‘o-lantern,” he said.

“”We’ve going to carve it” instead of just painting it, added his mother.

The bright-orange gourds were arranged in groups according to size.

“The rule is, you have to be able to carry your pumpkin,” explained Sherri Rose, a parent who also works in the school’s front office.

The pumpkin sale took place throughout the day, with the junior high students taking their turn at the pumpkin patch in the afternoon.

The pumpkin fund-raiser started out with the first graders taking a field trip to an actual pumpkin field near the school, said Rose whose husband, Jim, made sure the pumpkin patch on the grass was fully stocked throughout the day for the excited pumpkin hunters.