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Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

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Pumpkin Sales Support Cresskill Church's Mission

Congregants Carolyn Schinkel, Carol Lotito and John Pontician Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Barbara Smith-Gioia and her mother Viola Smith, pick their pumpkins. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
The pumpkins were trucked in from New Mexico. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

CRESSKILL, NJ — Cresskill Congregational United Church of Christ is having its annual pumpkin sale to fund programming for the community's under-served.

Volunteers from the roughly 125-member church were waiting when the 55-foot truck loaded with pumpkins arrived from a Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico on Oct. 10.

“People were already buying them of the truck,” said John Pontician, a 28-year member of the church who serves on the board of trustees and sits out most days, rain or shine, collecting funds from the sale.

Passersby usually catch a glimpse of all of the bright orange pumpkins on the front lawn of the church, with prices ranging from a couple of dollars to more than $30, depending on the size.

"We keep a percentage of the sales, but the distributor doesn't charge us for what we don't sell," said Carolyn Schinkel, the church's new outreach coordinator. "They go by honor system, which is pretty incredible."

Organizers say they have one of the most progressive churches in the area. Their Peace and Justice committee addresses Alzheimer’s Disease, social media for young adults, cyber safety, health and wellness, and programs for under-served communities.The church also hosts classical music artists and lectures, with funds raised from this annual event.


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