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LM Blade Runners take top pumpkin honors

John Jeno, LM Blade Runners pumpkin grower, protects “Gust” – this year’s winner at 624 pounds.

The 3rd Annual Pumpkins for Parkinson’s weigh-in celebration was held October 2 at the Altru Family YMCA, downtown Grand Forks.

Participants were able to view the giant pumpkins up close while enjoying brats and refreshments. An awards ceremony featured teams, growers and Parkinson Wellness program participants and staff. Traveling trophies were awarded to Team White Hat Gang (Al Pearson & Coach Brad Berry) for the most money raised per date, and LM Blade Runners (John Jeno) for largest pumpkin at 624 pounds. Brats were served by Chad DeTienne and Rick Mercil of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

Volunteer growers from the Grand Forks area all the way to Hettinger County spent the summer nourishing special “giant variety” pumpkins which could grow to 500 – 1,000 pounds. The seeds were started again this year with the help of Jan Heitmann at All Season’s Garden Center.

The fund raiser supports the Parkinson Wellness, Rock Steady Boxing and Parkinson Cycling classes at the Y. Money raised will go toward equipment, training and operational costs associated with the program, as well as Dial-a-Ride passes and other miscellaneous needs of program participants.

To date the fund raiser has taken in just over $12,000. The fund raiser will run through December 31. Donations may be made through team captains, in person at the YMCA, by phone, by mail, or online at: Donors may specify the name of a person who they are honoring with their pledge as well as the team they are supporting.

Donations are tax deductible. The Altru Family YMCA is a non-profit 501c3 organization. Our programs and services are funded by membership dollars, grants, donations and fund raisers.

Our 2018 teams:

The White Hat Gang

Coach Brad Berry & Al Pearson / Captain: Joanna Pearson

Team BUD

Dakota Sales / Captain: Randy Kieffer

Greenberg Realty/Greenberg Farms

Captain: Shelly Overbo

Dakota Dusters

Captains: Al Klatt & Mark Schneider

Team AG

Captain: Tom McEnroe

Alerus Financial

Captain: Mike Compton

LM Blade Runners

Captain: Debbie Nelson

Rivard’s Seed

Captain: Larry Rivard

Growers include: Diana Tveit, Wade Stadstad, Rocky Schumacher, Orval Swenson, Larry Rivard, Julie Tennison, Tom McEnroe, Dan & Travis Riedemann, Curt & Denise Knutson, Jan Heitmann/All Season’s, John Jeno, and Dwayne Cook.

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