Marysville News

Smashing pumpkins: Making a mess for MDA


For the second year in a row, the Marysville Fire Department plans to have a smashing good time raising money for its favorite charity.

"The Great Pumpkin Drop" will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at the Decker 271 Fire Station, 16300 County Home Road.

Fire Chief Jay Riley said last year's pumpkin drop raised nearly $1,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The event involves the department's 100-foot ladder, some bleachers for spectators and, of course, pumpkins.

"People can either bring their pumpkin or when they come here, they can make a donation to get a pumpkin," Riley said. "Then we take the pumpkin up in the ladder truck and announce whose pumpkin is next and we drop it. It makes a big mess."

People watch the show from bleachers and wait for their pumpkin to make a splash.

Smashing pumpkins isn't the only thing planned that afternoon to keep families entertained. The fire department will have bounce houses inside the station and will serve doughnuts and offer station tours.

Riley said pumpkin-drop funds go to support the MDA.

"The firefighters union and firefighters have always supported 'Jerry's Kids,' so it's just kind of tradition," he said.

In fact, the department conducts four fundraisers a year for MDA.

"We do the Fill the Boot campaign in the fall, then we do a fundraiser in the spring, and we do a stair climb," Riley said.

Fill the Boot raised $7,000 this fall.

In all, Riley estimates the Marysville department collects around $10,000 or $11,000 a year for the MDA.

Last year, firefighters held a special pumpkin drop for students at Navin Elementary School across the street from the Decker Fire Station, although the students were not allowed to leave school property and had to watch from across the street.

This year, the firefighters went to the kids. On Wednesday, Oct. 30, they took the department ladder truck to Navin.

"Last year when we did it for them, they raised money in their classes -- also for the MDA. Each class gives a pumpkin and they get real excited about it," Riley said.

He hopes that excitement spills over to Sunday.

"It's a really good time," he said.