In 2008, I started growing a huge pumpkin patch for the boys. We would seed, weed and watch as our garden grew over the course of the growing season. I’ve always enjoyed gardening and it was a project that I could work on with the kids. Chase and Cooper enjoyed harvest time the most and anxiously waited until the pumpkins were picked to find out which would be the heaviest pumpkin. The largest pumpkin we’ve ever grown weighed in at 164lbs and the excitement in the boy’s eyes was priceless. We would enter in all the local horticultural competitions and the boys would delight in showing off their prize pumpkin. Since we enjoyed our pumpkin patch so much, I would increase the number of pumpkins seeded each year until it got to the point that we would sell our produce at a local pumpkin stand located on our front driveway and to the local grocery stores. All profits would help build the boys college fund. Chase was always excited to help our customers choose the right one for their pies or jack-o-laterns and would delight it adding his profits into the piggy bank.
Chase passed away on May 24, 2011. Although dealing with the grief of losing our child, we still decided to grow a pumpkin patch for the 2011 cropping year. It reminded me of all the wonderful memories we made with Chase. We grew over 600 pumpkins that year. Instead of selling them, we decided it was most fitting to use Chase’s “Pay It Forward” Card and give away every single pumpkin we had grown. We handed out free pumpkins with Chases “Pay it Forward” Card to every child at the Canora Children’s Centre, the Canora Pre-Kingergarten, Canora Nursery School, the Canora Junior Elementary School and even had enough left over to hand out to all the residents and workers at the Canora Gateway Lodge. Our hope is that everyone who received a pumpkin would “Pay it Forward” in memory of our sweet boy Chase.
For 2012, we have seeded the biggest patch ever! Our mission is “Pumpkins for the Park.” Our big announcement with this blog posting is that we are currently in the process of designing a splash park for all the kids in the Canora community to play at, in memory of Chase. We will be selling the pumpkins with all proceeds going toward a Splash park in honour of Chase.
Please support the Chase Kraynick Memorial splash park by purchasing your pumpkin this fall! Please stay tuned for more info regarding times, dates and location of our pumpkin sales.
– Written by Chase’s mom, Rachel Kraynick.