Trevor Halliday, and his wife Joanne Halliday, recently competed at the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off event at Krause Berry Farm, and are now using their giant pumpkin growing skills to help raise money for charity.
These Maple Ridge farmers are quite experienced at growing pumpkins of mind-boggling size, having competed in several previous pumpkin weigh-in events around B.C.
This year, Halliday and his wife were unable to snatch first place at Krause Berry Farm, but they did manage to have the second and third largest pumpkins out of the 13 contestants, which he says netted them a pumpkin-shaped candle and a cookie.
“I don’t care too much about winning something at these things,” said Halliday, explaining that he is more focused on using these giant pumpkins to set records and raise money for charity.
“I’m pretty sure I grew the biggest pumpkin ever in Maple Ridge,” he said about this year’s entry. And even though he didn’t win, he’s using some of his massive pumpkins to help accomplish a bit of good in the community.
“We’ve got a fundraiser going over at South Laity Farm for people to guess the weight of our pumpkin,” said Halliday. “It’s all for charity.”
This is the second time that Halliday has done something like this, with last year’s event taking place at Grow & Gather garden centre. But this time, it’s the Laity Pumpkin Patch that has stepped up to host the giant pumpkin display.
“We are hosting this event as we wanted to honour the legacy of one of our employees who lost his life to cancer at age 18,” said Tania Laity of the Laity Pumpkin Patch.
“During his illness, he was cared for at BC Children’s Hospital and we thought that running this contest would allow us to honour him and give back to the care providers that helped him, his family, and so many others.”
Laity explained that in order to submit a guess for the pumpkin’s weight, attendees must grab a form at the South location entrance and contribute a minimum of $2 per guess. The deadline to do so is Oct. 30 at 5 p.m., with the winner being announced on Oct. 31 on Laity Pumpkin Patch’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
Whoever guesses closer to the pumpkin’s official weight, which will be taken on the final day of the contest, will win a prize pack valued at over $600. According to Laity, this prize pack includes $200 gift card for the Keg, $200 for Speedwash car washes, four passes to the Greater Vancouver Zoo, and four passes to the Laity Pumpkin Patch for the 2023 season with lunch and pumpkins included.
“Our goal is to raise a minimum of $2000 and the donation to BC Children’s Hospital will be made in memory of Kevin Varga,” said Laity.
Halliday explained that they should surpass that goal with plenty of time to spare, saying “we’re only three days in and have already raised $500.”
This fundraiser isn’t the only way that Halliday’s giant pumpkins are helping the community. He also explained that there are several other events currently in the works, including a charity seed sale, where locals can purchase some of the seeds from his record-setting pumpkins to try and grow their own massive pumpkins.
Halliday also brought up the idea of potentially hosting some kind of giant pumpkin regatta in the future, similar to the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Oregon, which Halliday and his wife plan on attending this year. This would include taking his giant pumpkins of the season, as well as the giant pumpkins from other local farmers, bringing them down to the lake, cutting them open, and paddling them across the water like a boat.
But whatever he plans next for his massive pumpkins, Laity confirmed that it’ll be for one charity or another.
“We’re just all about growing pumpkins and creating smiles.”
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