Pumpkins, hay bales and – most importantly – caramel apples, were just some of the goodies provided at the second annual Pumpkin Patch Party. Hosted by the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC), this event brought fall splendor to many students who rarely see a notable change of seasons here in Florida.
It’s hard not to notice that the weather has been beautiful recently. The temperature has gradually been getting lower and lower, and more students have been spotted relaxing outside. What better time to celebrate the season than in these gorgeous environmental conditions?
“The Counseling and Wellness Center gets this event together for the students. This is our second annual one,” medical technologist Anne Smith said.
“The event is definitely a team effort, but Anne goes above and beyond to make sure that everything runs smoothly,” CWC member Chacy Agnello said. “This event could not have happened without her.”
The Pumpkin Patch Party gets funding from the Office of the President and Student Affairs, in addition to community donations.
“We have a person outside of NCF who is very kind and lends us their industrial equipment to use, so we really appreciate that because we couldn’t afford to do the event without the generosity and kind donations of the community. It works out well,” Smith said.
The scene of the event was lined with hay bales, scarecrows and pumpkins; typical fall necessities. There was even a tractor! In addition to the festive decorations, caramel apples, popcorn, cotton candy and apple cider provided a taste of fall to students.
“The event takes a few months to plan, but everyone seems to really like it. All of the caramel apples are homemade, actually,” Smith said. “Myself and Marguerite here at the Counseling center, we do them from scratch the day before the event. It took us all afternoon.”
The hard work definitely does not go unnoticed by students. The event had a consistent amount of people painting pumpkins, taking fall photos and making sticky messes. It was obvious that students really enjoyed the atmosphere.
“We wanted to give you guys a taste of home, since this is where you live right now,” Smith said.
“I had a lovely time with my friends. The food and pumpkins reminded me of home and really made it a lovely week!” first-year student Bailey Schneider said.
In addition to the Pumpkin Patch Party, Smith helps plan the annual Fun and Fitness Expo. This year USF is hosting the sixth annual Fun and Fitness Expo on March 1, 2017, and full participation from New College is encouraged. At this event, students can meet local vendors and learn about potential volunteer opportunities. Smith also has a new idea up her sleeve for spring time.
“This year we’re going to do another event here on campus for the students in April. I don’t want to ruin it, but we’re going to do a carnival of sorts,” Smith said. “I’m in the planning stages of that right now.”
The staff at the CWC certainly work together in a way that completely supports students. These events and the hard work that goes into creating these events is all inspired and aimed towards student happiness.
“I always have fun. I live for these events, you know?” Smith said.
The second annual Pumpkin Patch Festival proved to be a great way to relax, enjoy the weather and truly celebrate the fall season.