Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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GRACE AND GRATITUDE IN THE PUMPKIN PATCH

11/13/2013

Immanuel has much to be thankful for, in this 20th year of selling pumpkins to help fund our outreach efforts into communities in need. 

Most important, we are grateful to our neighbors in Alexandria and the surrounding region who came to buy pumpkins, gourds, and delicious treats.  They helped us break all past sales records and, after paying our suppliers and sales taxes, we have a record profit of $67,057 for outreach.

We also give thanks for the many Immanuelites who helped with pumpkin unloading (and supporting the unloaders!) on Pumpkin Sunday, as well as the young volunteers from Episcopal High School, St. Stephens and St. Agnes, and Alexandria Country Day School who joined us in unloading another two 18-wheeler truckloads to replenish the Patch mid-October.  Those efforts were made possible by the outstandingly energetic and organized team who coordinated the pumpkin deliveries:  our Truck Manager Stephanie Harris, the Pumpkin Sunday Coordinator Mike Eaton, and the Wednesday Truck Coordinator Jamie Conrad.

Gratitude also goes to the more than 150 parishioners who volunteered to serve in the Pumpkin Patch throughout the month – some in wind and driving rain!  We are thankful to have had a crack team pulling the volunteers together:  Volunteer Manager Candy Levin, Sign-Up Coordinator Pierre Shostal, and Reminder Coordinator Lissa Soergel.

We never would have broken past fundraising records this year without the outpouring of homemade foodstuffs that yielded 100% profit to Immanuel and represented nearly a quarter of our net revenues.  Many thanks to Susan Post for serving as Food Manager, Phyllis Ginger as Bakery Coordinator, Connie Kurz as Soup Coordinator, and Melinda Ashton as Apple Crisps Coordinator. 

We thank the more than thirty parishioners who worked together to produce 576 apple crisps over four days of peeling, chopping, and assembling – including investments of time well above and beyond the call of duty by the Gildersleeves, the Stewarts, Georgia and Jan Maas, and Nellie Vega.  We also thank Immanuel’s talented bakers (and the Sunday School classes who mass-produced Tootsie Pop “ghosties”) for keeping the display cases filled with cupcakes, muffins, pies, cookies, brownies, breads, caramel apples, Rice Krispy treats; Phyllis Ginger commented on your “incredible work ethic and acts of love,” for which we are truly grateful.  And blessed are the soup-makers, for they have filled their neighbors's freezers with 394 quarts of delicious bounty: Immanuel's Youth Group, Gilma Balcarcel, Lisa Clausen, Chrissie Crosby, Sara Fein, Lisa Frye, Sue Gilbertson, John Gross, Debbie Hewson, Ginny Johnstone, Dorothy Kellogg, Connie Kurz, Suzanne Lamb, Candy Levin, Georgia Maas, Martha Manson, Sudie McGahuey, Carla Murray, Jean Peyton, Mary Ann Renhke, Carrie Rodriguez, Rosi Stewart, and Chris von Schoening

Even if your name has not been mentioned here, please know your contributions were greatly appreciated.  It took the efforts of all food-producing volunteers to push our food sales to the second-highest level in twenty years!

We were lucky to have experienced folks working for us in the Operations area, with Operations Manager John von Senden, Set-Up Coordinator Doug Onley, Close-Out Coordinator Francine Wargo, and ever-present Maintenance Coordinator Bill Duran.  We also thank our Daily Pumpkin Patch Coordinators Carla Murray, Debbie Hewson, Kathryn Haskin, Stefanie Reponen, Sudie McGahuey, Rosi Stewart, Kay Hobson, Everett Post and Callie Curtis.  A special thanks to John Bednar for his frequent and always-helpful presence at the Patch, assisting with set-up, take-down, clean-up, and various unpopular but highly important chores.

Substantial revenues come to Immanuel through special orders, and we were fortunate to have that critical area managed by Kyrah Drasheff, with logistics coordinated by the Youth Group.

We also thank Susan Dawson for her continuing efforts and success in advancing publicity, as well as training Brooke Roberts in Pumpkin Patch communications strategies. And kudos to the Alexandria Gazette-Packet for giving the Patch front-page coverage at our kickoff, and also running a story and photos of the student volunteers unloading mid-month!

Tracking Patch proceeds is a difficult, time-consuming, detail-oriented task, and we are deeply grateful to Jim Snow for again tackling this daily challenge.

Last but most certainly not least, we thank the set-up/take-down crew who created the Pumpkin Patch and then packed it away for another year, including Doug Onley, John Bednar, Kevin Kirby, Doug John, Doug Henry, Francine Wargo and Caroline Bergmark,  among others.

Many in Alexandria call Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill the “Pumpkin Church” – and that name is more appropriate than they may realize, considering how many Immanuel parishioners contributed in some way to making the 2013 Pumpkin Patch a success.  If you were part of these efforts, whether we managed to list you or not in this article, thank you so much!  It would not have happened without you!  And if you weren't, we hope you'll think next year about how you might be able to help.  As you can see, it's very much a team effort.

We’re already assembling our team for next year, so please let us know your ideas and/or how you would like to participate – we would love to hear from you!

-- 2013 Pumpkin Team Shepherds: Pierre Shostal, Jim Snow, and Jamie Conrad; and Vestry Liaison Martha Manson.


11/13/2013
2013-11-13
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