BPS Foundation hosts Unparade at Papa's Pumpkin Patch

Published: Oct. 27, 2018 at 10:44 AM CDT
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Halloween is closing in, but Papa's Pumpkin Patch has another big event before they shut down for the year. It's called the Unparade, because the displays aren't moving, the people are.

This is a pumpkin patch that Jack Skellington would be proud of, with more than 1,300 pumpkins carved in the last two days by Bismarck students.

"The board of directors last spring when they saw the statistics of mental health in our schools they said we have to do something, we have to be able to infuse that awareness, we have to infuse some dollars so that we can get ahead of this," said Kayla Effertz Kleven, BPS Foundation executive director.

They're getting ahead of the problem by infusing a little fun; Papa's Pumpkin Patch hosts the Unparade as a fundraiser for the schools mental health programs. They hope to raise $20,000 over the weekend, some spooky fun, to battle some truly scary statistics.

According to a state report, 17.2 percent of Bismarck High School students have considered suicide, and 30 percent have felt hopeless for two consecutive weeks or more.

"We have a couple of pilot programs already started in the Bismarck Public Schools. We have a pilot program going on at Bismarck High which is using a private company to come in and give us some clinical psychologists," said Jim Haussler, BPS superintendent.

The BPS Foundation recruited leadership classes to carve the hundreds of pumpkins in time for the event.

"One of the things that has surprised me so much as we started out on this program is when we talked to kids about what the money would be spent on they became very passionate about it," said Effertz Kleven.

Admission for the event is $20 per carload.

If you'd like to check out the pumpkins, and support the cause, the patch will open again Saturday at 6:30 p.m.