Rotary’s fall tradition arrives Oct. 6

MARYSVILLE — Last year the Marysville Noon Rotary sold more than 200,000 pounds of pumpkins.

The Rotary’s Daryn Bundy said that, more importantly, over the years the service organization has donated some $50,000 toward books and literacy programs at elementary schools in three districts: Marysville, Arlington and Lakewood.

The money was raised during the group’s annual Pumpkins for Literacy event, which this year runs Oct. 6-31 at the Plant Farm in Smokey Point.

Besides being able to pick out a Halloween pumpkin, Bundy said the Pumpkins for Literacy Patch will feature plenty of entertainment, especially for the little ones.

That entertainment includes a bouncy house, hayrides, a mini animal farm and a story barn where senior citizens and volunteers will read to young visitors. A concession stand also will be open throughout the event.

While there is a charge for pumpkins and concessions, the Pumpkins for Literacy Patch is free. The Rotary does charge per person for the school field trips Bundy said become popular as Halloween approaches.

“Every dollar goes back to the community,” Bundy added.

In the past, depending on the size of the school, the Rotary has donated between $500 and $1,000 annually to schools in the three targeted districts. For the last two years, the Rotary also has handed out hardbound children’s dictionaries to every third-grader in each school system.

Bundy said the Rotary Pumpkin Patch has become more and more popular over the years. He said there are times on the weekends when four or five tractors are at work providing hayrides.

“We have families come all the way up from Puyallup,” Bundy said.

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