Montessori Charter School students, sheriff's deputies and jail trustees all rolled up their sleeves Thursday morning to help unload thousands of pumpkins, gourds and decorative flint corncobs at the MARC Plant Store, 1401 Seminary St.
The orange orbs and other seasonal items are to be sold at the Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizen's fifth annual Pumpkin Patch fundraiser, open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily beginning Saturday and running through Oct. 31.
"We participate in this event every year," said Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay, a MARC House board member who pitched in with the heavy lifting Thursday. "This is a very special organization that helps people who would otherwise be in great peril. We also have a lot of fun unloading the pumpkins."
Special events planned for this year's patch:
Oct. 12 -- Centennial Bank will sell hot dogs, burgers and soda from its mobile cart while DJ Dave spins festive tunes.
Oct. 26 -- It's face-painting day with games, hula hoops, arts and crafts, photo ops with Alcazar the Horse, baked goods and goodie bags.
Prices for the pumpkins and gourds of all colors range from 50 cents to $25, payable by check, credit card or cash.
The proceeds will be used to help MARC clients continue to participate in community activities, the nonprofit said.
"We also use the money to take clients to the gym," said MARC community inclusion trainer Linda Bugge. "It's an important fundraiser for us."
In addition to the patch, MARC will be getting another monetary boost from the Island Time party, taking place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Conch Flyer Restaurant in Key West International Airport, 3491 S. Roosevelt Blvd. That event will feature a buffet dinner, music from the Bubba System, and various auctions. Earlier this year, MARC's state funding was cut by $100,000.
For information on either event, call 305-294-9526, ext. 25.