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Grimsby Couple Ready to Pack in the Pumpkins

From the Standard:

This will be the last fall George and Karen Vanderburgh see their front lawn turned into a sea of orange.

The temporary pumpkin patch that has sprouted across the Grimsby couple’s yard every October for the past 25 years will disappear for good after Halloween.

The couple plan to move to Burlington at the end of the month, ending Grimsby’s long-standing Great Pumpkin Sale, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research.

“It’s bittersweet, for sure,” Karen said Friday. “It’s nice to have a great place to move to, but then we have to leave the sale.”

George’s brother, Scott Vanderburgh, started the popular fundraiser.

A professional hockey player, Scott had already lost two sisters and his mother to cancer when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Though he had been drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, Scott’s illness prevented him from playing for the NHL club.

After he died in 1989, the Vanderburgh family was determined to keep the cancer fundraiser going.

“We started with a trailer with probably 25 pumpkins and now we’re up to 5,000 or 6,000,” Karen said.

“It just felt good to do something positive to fight such a devastating disease.”

The family buys the pumpkins and people pay what they want for them. All proceeds go to the Canadian Cancer Society.

The event has raised more than $555,000 to date, including $59,500 last year.

Continue reading at St. Catharines Standard

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