November 5, 2007
HARTFORD – The new “Pumpkin Pick’en Patch” at The Right Place in Hartford is directly related to the success of the Boston Red Sox and their latest World Series Championship. Lisa Goepfert, Director of Social Services for The Salvation Army – Southern New England Division, and devote Sox fan, was attending a get-together in Tolland, Connecticut when she met fellow Sox fans Kenny and Kim Shores, the owners of Johnny Appleseed Farms in Ellington. Between innings, the buzz went from stories about Manny, Big Papi, and Pappelbon to a couple of verses of “Sweet Caroline,” and then the discussion turned to The Salvation Army and The Right Place. Lisa told the Shores about The Right Place – The Salvation Army’s School Readiness Program and the 99 Asylum Hill neighborhood children that are enrolled in the program. The Shores were discussing life on the farm and this year’s pumpkin crop, and before you can say Colorado Rockies three times fast, there was a plan in the works.Early Halloween morning, a large truck from Willington Nameplate (donated by Mike Goepfert, General Manager and Lisa’s brother) was sent to the farm while the “frost was still on the pumpkin” and over 150 pumpkins were loaded into the back of the vehicle. While the kids were out trick or treating around the neighborhood, at Salvation Army Division Headquarters and at the Army’s Senior Center, pumpkins were being “planted” all around the playground. When the children returned, they were sent into the “pumpkin patch” to pick their very own pumpkin. There were many happy campers or pickers waiting to show their families their pumpkins when they got home.We wish to thank Johnny Appleseed Farm, Willington Name Plates, the Goepferts and the Shores (and the Red Sox) for helping to make the kids from the Right Place just a little happier and their lives more grounded. They may not remember that the Sox won the World Series over Colorado in 2007, but we are sure that they will always remember picking their pumpkins at The Right Place Pumpkin Pick’en Patch on Sigourney Street.