The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Beka Compton
The Times 

Schulke Pumpkins

Nothing says Autumn like pumpkins, especially those grown with a purpose.


October 8, 2020

WAITSBURG—Schulke Family Pumpkins have made their way back to Waitsburg for another year of fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House.

The by-donation fundraiser is the Schulke family’s way of honoring their son, Cooper, who passed away in 2002 after a valiant fight against a brain tumor. Cooper was just seven and a half years old.

In 2007, Cooper’s siblings, Emerson and Campbell, came up with the idea of selling pumpkins to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House, a place that became a ‘home away from home’ for more than three months during Cooper’s fight. The family started with a small pile of pumpkins at their home, selling the pumpkins on a by-donation pricing scale.

Thirteen years later, the family is still selling pumpkins by-donation. The small patch of pumpkins has grown into a multi-acre operation, with nearly thirty varieties of pumpkins. These beautiful pumpkins are ready to be carved into jack-o-lanterns or baked into pies. Along with orange are blue, white, and green pumpkins, and the occasional bumpy knucklehead pumpkin. Small, decorative pumpkins would make great social-distancing markers for trick or treaters on Halloween night.

Binfuls of the Schulke pumpkins will be delivered to local businesses in Walla Walla and Waitsburg, who look forward to participating in this seasonal fundraiser.

Mr. C’s Smoking Co, in Waitsburg, has a large display of pumpkins at their store at 405 Preston Ave.

“I have to do the Schulke Pumpkin fundraiser,” owner Clarence Stearns said. “It’s such a great cause; I just have to do it every year.”

Nancy’s Dream Garden Center, at 124 Warren Street, also carries a large selection of pumpkins at their new location and credits Sterns with introducing them to the Schulkes.

“We should get four more pallets, at least,” said Doug Biolo, one of the owners of Nancy’s Dream Garden Center.

Pumpkins are also available at Hot Mama’s Espresso in Walla Walla, at 147 W Pine Street.

Whether you’re looking for a classic, round pumpkin, or a bumpy squash with character, you’re likely to find it at one of the Schulke Family Pumpkin Fundraiser locations!


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