When St. John’s Lutheran Church planned their third annual Pumpkin Patch Palooza this fall, they chose the Sleepy Eye Fire Department as the recipient of the proceeds from the event.

When St. John’s Lutheran Church planned their third annual Pumpkin Patch Palooza this fall, they chose the Sleepy Eye Fire Department as the recipient of the proceeds from the event. It was held on Oct. 6 and featured kids games, wagon rides, music, food and a farmers market. The fire department brought their antique 1921 LaFrance fire engine for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Last week, St. John’s presented the Sleepy Eye Fire Department with a donation of $2,917.69 from the Pumpkin Patch Palooza. Event chairperson, Paula Windschitl, said that was the proceeds from the food and produce sales at the event, plus some cash donations collected. Windschitl said the event was success thanks to the work of many volunteers.

Fire Chief Ron Zinniel said the department will use the funds to purchase a smoke/fog machine that will be utilized for search and rescue training and also for smoke clearing drills.

The church members also asked that if the donation was more than needed for the smoke/fog machine, that the remainder go to the department’s ongoing efforts to restore and maintain the old LaFrance fire engine. Zinniel said he thought there would be money leftover and would be most appreciated for just that purpose.