Pumpkins bashed

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
Atmore Area Young Life volunteers discovered they had been victims of vandalism after arriving at their pumpkin patch last Saturday morning.
According to volunteers at the scene that morning, vandals apparently drove through the pumpkin patch, located at the corner of Pensacola Avenue and School Street, with a large truck. In doing so, approximately 33 pumpkins were destroyed.
The pumpkin bashing did not come as a shock to Young Life area director Chad Green.
"I wasn't too surprised," Green said. "I hate to be anticlimactic about it. We knew that it could happen and the company that we are doing it with told us not to worry about it. We've got to push on through. We've got 400 more pumpkins we've got to sell."
The Atmore Police Department was called to the scene of the crime after volunteers discovered that the pumpkins had been bashed. According to volunteers, officers said they had discovered the misfortune at around 3:30 Saturday morning. A police report was filed, but no arrests have been made.
Two weeks ago, volunteers unloaded 520 pumpkins to be sold as part of the ministry's fundraising efforts. The pumpkins were placed throughout the empty lot in front of First Presbyterian Church. Saturday morning, tire tracks cut through the middle of the pumpkin patch with pumpkins scattered and splattered throughout. It also looked as if the vandals had exited the truck and sliced some of the pumpkins.
Green believes it was just pranksters up to no good.
"I think it was some kids trying to have a good time at the expense of the pumpkin patch," he said. "I don't want to assume anything. Stuff like this happens and you can either let it overtake you or count your blessings and move on. It's not continually happening and that's good."
Fortunately the damaged pumpkins will not cost Young Life financially.
"The pumpkin patch company allotted us so many pumpkins and in that number waste built in," Green said. "They rate us by the community's size and where we're located."
Despite the setback, Young Life isn't letting it get them down.
"It's sad that it happened, but it wasn't overwhelming and devastating," Green said. "It was something that we were able to move through."
If you have any information regarding the pumpkin bashing incident contact the Atmore Police Department at 368-9141.
As for sales, Green wishes they would pick up.
"It's going all right," Green said. "We wish we had more sales. We wish that we would have more people stop by. We're having a great response from our volunteers, but I wish that more people in the community would come by and support us."
Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

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