Some of the junior Girl Scouts from Hardyston Troop #96740 and their leader, Erin Ashton, attended Hardyston Day on Sept. 25 to raise money for breast cancer research and screenings, and to prepare for their annual “Pink Pumpkin Patch” planting.
The girls set a $1,500 goal, and reached that goal on Hardyston Day.
The troop holds an annual planting ceremony at the township municipal building. The girls plant the pink pumpkins, inscribed with the names donors give them in memory of someone they lost, someone who recovered, or someone battling breast cancer. The ceremony took place this year on Oct. 9.
”We give the option of purchasing a pumpkin in the following categories: In memory of someone that has lost their fight with cancer, in celebration of someone who has beat breast cancer, or in encouragement of someone currently fighting breast cancer,” said Ashton.
A pumpkin costs $10. Donations to the cause can be of any amount.
Ashton said the money will be donated to the Newton Medical Center Foundation on Oct. 23 along with the money they collected last year. “The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Newton Medical Center and will earmark these funds for breast cancer research and mammograms,” she said.
She said the troop has been selling pink pumpkins in the community, at school, and on Facebook.
“The girls work very hard on this fundraiser each year and understand the part they are playing to ensure there is awareness brought to breast cancer,” said Ashton.
Last year was the first year the troop started the Pink Pumpkin Patch. The girls wanted to raise money for research and enable women to receive mammograms they could not otherwise afford. The troop decided to raise money and plant pink pumpkins every year.
They also want to grow the Celebration section for cancer survivors larger than the other two sections devoted to people who lost their battle or are now struggling with the disease.
Two years ago the troop packaged chemotherapy kits that included lotions, soothing tea, candy, and crossword puzzles. The kits were sent to St. Barnabas Hospital and given out to patients undergoing chemotherapy.
“The girls work very hard on this fundraiser each year and understand the part they are playing to ensure there is awareness brought to breast cancer.” Erin Ashton