Pink pumpkins benefit cancer research

Bill Devries with his pink pumpkins at his fruit stand on C and 31 1/2 Roads.



Halloween revelers can carve for a cure this year with pink pumpkins.

The Rocky Ford-based Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation sold pink pumpkin seeds this year with the condition that growers return proceeds from sales of the specialty pumpkins to the foundation. The newly formed foundation will begin dispensing donations to organizations directly conducting breast cancer research after funds are collected from growers in November and December.

Bill DeVries, owner of DeVries Farm Market at the intersection of 31 1/2 and C roads on Orchard Mesa, purchased 500 of the Porcelain Doll variety seeds from the foundation after he saw pink pumpkins in a magazine. He said he liked the idea of selling the pumpkins for charity because “it was to help somebody with cancer.”

DeVries grew about 250 of the pumpkins to maturity and has them for sale for whatever price people want to donate to breast cancer research. When he went to Craig to sell the pumpkins and other produce this week, DeVries said one woman paid $23 for a single pumpkin.

“She said her mother and sister died of cancer,” DeVries said. “I told her to take two or three for that price but she said she wasn’t even thinking of that. She said, ‘It’s a donation that matters to me.’ “

Devries’ wife, Leeyla DeVries, lost her father to colon cancer. She said the fundraising element is an added perk to selling pumpkins that range from an orange-y coral to a yellow-ish blush.

“It’s been kind of fun having pink pumpkins,” she said.

Pink pumpkins are sold throughout the U.S. at local shops and participating national retailers, including Home Depot, Safeway and City Market in Grand Junction. A list of retailers and information about the foundation are available at PinkPumpkinPatch.org.


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