When the team at Young’s of Ridgefield was brainstorming ideas of ways they could give back to the community in 2023 as part of their 75th anniversary, supporting Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church was an easy decision. Jesse Lee has given to many underprivileged communities over the years through its mission work, including the Appalachia Service Project, Community Cupboard food pantry, Laundry Love program and the very popular annual Pumpkin Patch.
Jesse Lee has supported the Navajo Nation through the sale of their pumpkins for over 30 years. The pumpkins are grown on a reservation in New Mexico, providing some 700 jobs for Navajo workers at fall harvest time. The pumpkins are delivered to Jesse Lee’s Main Street lawn in late September and members of the church, as well as other service organizations including local Scout troops, help load them into the “patch.” Every pumpkin patch requires a fence to keep unwanted critters from having a smorgasbord, eating up the sweet gourds. That's where Young's comes in.
Chris Couri, co-owner of Young’s Fencing and a lifelong member of Jesse Lee, approached the Jesse Lee Board of Trustees about upgrading the old chicken wire fence around the pumpkin patch to something sturdier and easier to maintain year after year, such as traditional deer fencing. The Trustees accepted Young’s offer and the Young’s crew installed a new plastic mesh fence with heavy-duty metal poles in mid-September. Metal sleeves were inserted into the ground to ensure easy setup and break down of the fence each fall.
“We love to support non-profits in the area and really wanted to do something impactful this year as a way of thanking the Ridgefield community for supporting Young’s for the past 75 years,” said Chris Couri. “We researched a number of organizations before settling on the pumpkin patch at Jesse Lee. Their mission work is admirable as is their support of Ridgefield’s youth through their church youth groups, as well as their support of the Scouts in town.”
The first batch of pumpkins arrived this past weekend and the patch, staffed by Jesse Lee members, will be open for daily business now through Halloween Day.
Elizabeth Rabinowitz, chair of Jesse Lee’s Church Council, thanked Young’s for its generosity.
“The Jesse Lee Pumpkin Patch is a community tradition for Ridgefield in the truest sense of the word community,” she said. “The Patch is a celebrated mission of the church that invites Scouts and other youth organizations in to help with the deliveries, and then welcomes families into a pleasing, purposeful way to enjoy the season. The new reusable fencing is a tremendous help, and we’re so pleased to feel the support from our good neighbors at Young’s.”