By Emily Williams
It may not feel as if fall has arrived, but that isn’t delaying the season of the pumpkin.
The huge orange vegetable is the star of the show at the Grace House Ministries Junior Board’s sixth annual Pumpkin Festival, set for Oct. 19.
“We love the Pumpkin Festival because it’s a fun, family-friendly event that also raises awareness of Grace House’s programs for Alabama girls in foster care,” said Grace House Development Director Katherine Connell. “And unlike some of our more ‘formal’ fundraising events, the Pumpkin Festival is something our girls can participate in and enjoy as guests.”
Guests can pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve at home, or they can decorate it on-site to enter into a children’s pumpkin-decorating contest.
In addition, the event will include bounce houses, carnival games, a family photo booth, face painting and local food trucks.
According to Connell, the festival has proved to be one of Grace House’s fastest-growing fundraising events.
“Funds raised through sponsorships and ticket sales help us to meet needs (of) our girls, including food, school supplies and counseling, and will go toward the purchase of fall clothing,” she said.
The funding provided by the festival is more necessary than ever as the organization looks forward to expanding.
Since 1992, the ministry has sought to provide a stable, Christian home for Alabama girls in foster care. The ministry currently consists of an eight-property residential campus in Fairfield, which houses up to 28 girls ages 6 to 21.
In July, the organization began a full renovation of one of the historic homes on its campus to create an additional 10 beds. The project is expected to be completed by January.
“Our long-term goal is to be able to serve 100 Alabama girls in foster care on our campus and realize our founder, Mama Lois’, vision of having a village of homes for girls,” Connell said.
The event will be held at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Homewood Central Park. For more information, visit grace-house.org.