Seeliger students and staff set up pumpkin patch |

Seeliger students and staff set up pumpkin patch

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer
Brennan Shaffer, 11 takes a time-out on the pumpkin patch at Seeliger Elementary School Friday afternoon. The pumpkins had arrived that morning.

For 10 years Larry Serrano and Drew Chiazza have spent one night a year sleeping in a pumpkin patch.

But unlike the “Peanuts” duo, Charlie Brown and Linus, they’re not waiting to catch a glimpse of the elusive Great Pumpkin. Instead, the parent volunteers protect the patch from would-be vandals.

After Seeliger Elementary students unloaded and organized more than 1,000 pumpkins into neat rows Friday morning, the two men kept watch over it for today’s pumpkin patch.

“At times we’ll have up to 2,000 people here at one time,” said Kellie Chiazza, Drew’s wife and organizer the event. “I think it’s a really fun community event for the family.”

In addition to the selection of pumpkins, there will be entertainment for children including at 26-foot slide, a jumping castle and a dunk tank.

A craft fair and raffle will help raise about $10,000 to be used in Seeliger Elementary classrooms.

“It’s our school’s No. 1 fund-raiser,” said Kellie Chiazza, teacher’s assistant. “All the proceeds go directly into the classroom.”

Erika Pottle, 10, helped set up the pumpkin patch.

“It’s fun,” she said. “You help people out so the teachers don’t have to do it all and it looks cool.”

Andrew Palmer, 11, finds school pride in the patch.

“I think it’s cool because not very many schools have pumpkin patches,” he said. “We have different games and stuff.”

Seeing all the pumpkins put Brennan Shaffer, 11, in the mood to trick-or-treat.

“I like candy,” he said. “It tastes good.”

Brittany Bill, 11, plans to be a witch for Halloween, but is also excited to see how her friends will dress.

“I like seeing all my friends at Halloween in their costumes,” she said. “I can tease them.”

If you go:

What: Seeliger Pumpkin Patch

Where: Seeliger Elementary School

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today