By Ann Miller Baker
Want to add your name to a local Halloween display and help fight cancer, too? It’s possible at the Pumpkin House Fights Cancer in Davenport, Fla.
Last Halloween, Adriana and Chris Bailey decided to combine their love of all things Halloween with their support of Moffitt Cancer Center, where Adriana has been under treatment for a rare type of lung cancer since 2017.
The two Disney employees hand-carved more than 300 foam pumpkins for display in their front yard along with lights, fog, projected images and suitably scary music. The resulting high-tech Halloween haven became a must-see for intrepid trick-or-treaters. All the Baileys asked in return was a donation of whatever their visitors could spare for cancer research at Moffitt.
Chris envisioned the Pumpkin House fundraiser to work like the Halloween haul that trick-or-treaters amass with each small treat handed out at the homes they visit. “Everybody just gives a little, but ‘a little’ adds up to a real difference for people like us who rely on cancer research to continue. That’s why we decided to use our Pumpkin House as a way to help others.”
This year, the Baileys decided a proper Pumpkin House needs a Great Pumpkin Fence. For a $10 donation to the Moffitt cause, they’ll add your name in glow-in-the-dark neon script to one of the foam pumpkins they’ve already carved with a cancer awareness ribbon. Their goal is to add 1,000 carved and named pumpkins to their fence over Halloweens to come.
The Baileys’ Pumpkin House fundraiser page on Facebook pledges 75 percent of proceeds to research at Moffitt Cancer Center. The rest will be used to make next year’s Pumpkin House bigger, better and even more fun.
“We’re thrilled our local community is as excited as we are to help support cancer patients and cancer research,” Adriana added. Thanks to the clinical trial she’s enrolled in at Moffitt, Adriana has been well enough to travel with her husband this year. “Fighting this disease is better when surrounded by friends and family. To us, Moffitt has become part of our family helping us win the fight. Halloween is a holiday that’s all about fun and creativity. And if we can use it as a way to inspire the kids who visit the Pumpkin House while raising money for a great cause, it makes the day all that more meaningful.”
To check out the display or drop off your donations in person, visit the Pumpkin House at 418 Grovepark Drive in Davenport, Fla. Or you can check out the Baileys’ video of their display here.