Selling Pumpkins Supports the Glenmary Sisters
by Mike Thompson, Guild Member
The Glenmary Guild started selling pumpkins and mums in the Fall of 2000 as a Fundraiser for the Guild to be able to help support the Glenmary Sisters in their efforts to feed and clothe the least advantaged folks at the Glenmary Home Missions. It all started under a 20’ red and white striped tent on the Parrish Ave side of the Old Owensboro Armory. It was quite a festive event and well received by Owensboroans.
In 2001 we added two 16’ mobile units to the tent sales as well as an “Honor System” sales display at the home of Mike and Cloa Thompson at 3201 Bittel Rd. We took the mobile units into some of the neighborhoods and also started selling at some of the Catholic Churches after Sunday Masses, all with a high degree of success.
In the following years the Owensboro Pumpkin Festival grew out of the “Red Tent Sales”. This event, sponsored by the Glenmary Sisters, became one of the best family orientated entertainment events that Ow- ensboro has experienced. The Glenmary Guild continued with its Red Tent Sales as a staple part of the PumpkinFest.
In 2005 Cloa and I found the remains of an original Owensboro Wagon, purchased it, and during the next two years, restored it to its original state as purchased in 1905. Even the Logos are identical to the original as we have a brochure of the wagon as sold in 1905. We use the wagon on one of our mobile sales units as a “Wagon Load Of Pumpkins” and it has become a kind of icon for the Glenmary Pumpkin and Mum Sale. The wagon sold in 1905 brand new for $32.00 and if you wanted brakes on it you add $2.00. It was built with 10 cent per hour labor.
The Old Owensboro Wagon was tired, worn out, down, and hopeless. Now it is renewed, hopeful, and energetic as it carries its “Wagon Load of Pumpkins” and stands Full of Pride.
This is what we try to do for the folks at the GLENMARY HOME MISSIONS.
The rest of the story...
Pumpkins and mums become so much more! The Sisters increase the funds collected by the Glenmary Guild’s annual pumpkin & mum sale by providing food, clothing and financial assistance to those living in the rural south and Appalachia.