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Annual Pumpkin Give Away Day

Past recipients of pumpkins are cordially invited to this celebration

The annual pumpkin distribution to Estes Park children will be held at the elementary school on Thursday, October 27 at 8:30 a.m.

This fun holiday tradition was started in October 1936 by the late R. L. Brodie.

Brodie was Estes Park Mayor in 1946-52 and again in 1968-72. Brodie began the event as the owner of Brodie’s Market believing it was an appropriate consideration for being kind to youngsters. “His interest in the pumpkin giveaway,” said Bill Van Horn, current chairperson of the event, “was purely out of kindness of a good heart.”

Upon the death of Mr. Brodie the market closed, potentially ending this rich holiday tradition. At the suggestion of Rotarian Tom Maher, The Estes Park Rotary Club agreed to continue the tradition in the memory of Ron Brodie. Mr. Brodie was president of the Estes Park Rotary Club in 1943-44. His club would not allow that this tradition fade from the culture of Estes Park. Thus, the noontime Estes Park Rotary Club has, since 1988, continued the practice including Brodie’s desire of not charging a fee for the pumpkin gifts. In the last year of Brodie’s giveaway, 675 pumpkins were given away to eager children. Last year, the club gave 1,000 beautiful, large orange pumpkins away to the children of Estes Park.

For years Rotary members had to drive trucks to the valley to procure the pumpkins. The Rotary Club is now deeply indebted to Safeway and Safeway Manager, Mr. Jared who now partner with Rotary, filling in for Ron Brodie and his generous spirit. Safeway will provide all of the pumpkins this year, and has for the past several years, free of charge. Rotary salutes Safeway for their help in continuing this 75 year old tradition.

If you were one of the children who received your Halloween pumpkin from the Rotarians, please join us on October 27 for a special photo opportunity of past and current pumpkin recipients to commemorate this 75 year old celebration.

Photos EP NEWS/Hazelton

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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