Olathe pumpkin event a blast as fundraiser

Photo by William Woody—A large water tank explodes after being struck by a pumpkin Saturday during the ninth annual Pumpkin Chunkin’ fundraiser put on by Olathe firefighters at the Friend family farm.

OLATHE — The annual Pumpkin Chunkin’ is more than merely a celebration of hurling pumpkins into the air. Proceeds from Saturday’s event will help people in need through scholarships and other sponsorship programs.

The ninth annual Pumpkin Chunkin’ at the Friend family farm between Montrose and Olathe was the annual fundraiser for the Olathe Fireman Association and the Olathe Fire District.

Four massive air cannons joined a pair of catapults in taking aim at various targets from water buckets to small cars and vans using basketball-sized pumpkins.

“We’re trying to build this into an event that will be as big as the corn fest,” Olathe volunteer fireman Mike Tindall said. “Plus, we just like throwing parties.”

Tindall said money raised from the event is redistributed through student scholarships and the department’s yearly Christmas family-sponsorship program. Each year the Fire Department sponsors families in need, providing ingredients for Christmas dinner and presents and toys for the children.

Tindall said Saturday’s event was the largest of all the previous years. Live music, games, vendors and a costume contest provided something to do for everyone.

“We’re trying to make it real affordable for people to come out here and have a good time,” Tindall said.

Tindall said additional money goes into the Fire Department’s general fund for general fire hall maintenance. To donate to the Olathe Fire Department call 970-249-5665.


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