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It’s Almost Halloween so Think Pink?

By Eva Potter

Traditionally, orange gourds dominate October’s landscape, but this year there’s a new pumpkin in town and it’s pink.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and this year Pumpkinville has a pretty surprise in store for everyone. When Dan and Diane Pawlowski, owners of Pumpkinville, spotted a new type of pumpkin seed – the Porcelain Doll – in their seed catalog this year, they immediately saw a wonderful opportunity to help others. The Porcelain Doll seed was unintentionally discovered during plant breeding research.

To raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research, the Pawlowskis ordered plenty of Porcelain Doll seeds to grow the pink pumpkins.  According to Dan, even though they have never had anyone close battle the disease, they have had “friends with problems.”

He said, “(The pink pumpkins) are a flatter, more ribbed type of pumpkin – more like a Cinderella pumpkin. We still have plenty left. They aren’t huge but can be carved.” Inside you’ll find deep-orange, sweet flesh that can be used for pies, soup and other fall favorites.

The Pawlowskis plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation as well as the WNY Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an organization that supports local breast health education, outreach programs and services for families affected by this disease.

The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, a new Colorado nonprofit charitable entity currently run by volunteers, will distribute aid to a variety of breast cancer organizations including Susan G. Komen for the Cure from the proceeds of the pink pumpkin campaign beginning in 2013.

Heather Atherton, of Atherton PR, said the foundation hopes to “raise millions of dollars for the cause and contribute to finding a cure for this dreaded disease” through their national “Pink Pumpkin on Your Porch – Let’s Unite Against Breast Cancer” campaign, which encourages consumers to display pink pumpkins on their porches and in their homes this month.

Funds are being raised with the help of a network of nationwide pumpkin growers who have committed to donating a share of proceeds from the sales of the pink pumpkins. Find more information at www.pinkpumpkinpatch.org.

According to Atherton, “(The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation) had 9,000 retailers for 2012, which were supplied by about 50 growers nationwide. Next year, we hope to double the number of retailers supported by 50 percent more growers.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008, over 210,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and over 40,500 women died from breast cancer. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, regardless of race or ethnicity.

So, ladies, book your mammograms now! Some area health providers even offer free or low-cost mammograms for the uninsured. And remember, while rare, breast cancer does affect less than 1 percent of the male population – signs and treatments are similar.

To support the cause, these days you can find Dan sporting a pink ribbon on his hat as he tends to his customers at Pumpkinville. When you buy one of his pink pumpkins, you’ll not only get an eye-catching decoration but you’ll be contributing to finding a cure for breast cancer.

Pumpkinville is located at 4844 Sugartown Rd. in Great Valley and is open from Sept. 15–Oct. 31, from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. every day. Admission is free with a small fee for some activities. For more information, visit www.pumpkinville.com.

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