Mark your 2014 calendars for Thursday, October 23rd 3:30pm for
KCST’s Annual Great Pumpkin Give-Away on FM 106.9
Pumpkin Give-away begins at 4pm
Coast Radio and True Value Team Up Again For Pumpkin Giveaway
FLORENCE, Ore – Something old, something new, something borrowed, something… orange? That may be a variation on an old adage related to weddings. But Coast Radio and its sponsors are turning it on its ear for this year’s 25th annual Original Great Pumpkin Giveaway, Thursday, October 23rd.
First of all, the orange:
Well, that’s obvious. It’s the estimated 3,000 pounds of pumpkins that will be given away that day between 4 and 5 PM. Most of them will fly across the table in a 15 minute period.
25 years ago KCST began handing out free pumpkins to local area children to celebrate its 1st anniversary. That tradition will continue with the assistance of the Lemhouse family and Florence True Value, Old School Furniture and the Saw Shop.
Then, there’s the old:
For the 25th year straight, the pumpkins will be piled up and then distributed for free to kids under the age of 16 while they last. The event starts at three with the pumpkins being distributed at four. In addition to the great orange gourds, there will be free hot dogs, A&W Root Beer and plenty of treats for the kids.
Since the first giveaway in 1989, the goal has been to provide a fun event that gives something back, says KCST General Manager Jon Thompson. “Being involved in the community is very important to all of us at Coast Radio”, he explained. Thompson added that the event wouldn’t be possible without the many sponsors, volunteers, and a prominent partner. “The involvement of the Lemhouse family at True Value, Old School and the Saw Shop has been crucial in bringing this tremendous event to kids in and around Florence”. Bringing back the carving contest with cash prizes for charity just adds “one more exciting element” according to Thompson.
Mixing in the borrowed:
Volunteers help make the event work well. One of those groups; firefighters from Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue; handle the task of distributing the pumpkins. That’s no small feat as there are hundreds of them, weighing anywhere from 5 to12 pounds each.
But that doesn’t deter the firefighters. “There’s a huge response each year when we ask for volunteers” says Siuslaw Valley Fire Marshall Sean Barrett. “Quite often when we interact with the public, it’s an emergency situation which can mean something traumatic or bad has happened. Being involved in this way, we get to see people smile and enjoy themselves”.
Members of the Florence Siuslaw Lions Club are “borrowed” and put to work cooking and serving the hundreds of free hot dogs and many gallons of A&W Root Beer.
The volunteers at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center get involved too. They dutifully package the hundreds of pounds of candy and other goodies into smaller packages for distribution that day.
KCST personality Dr. Jack has shown himself to be a man of many talents. One of the most recent ones is that each halloween for the past several years, he grabs on to the “biggest, fattest pumpkin” he can find and then carves it into a seasonal masterpiece that leaves minds boggled.
For that afternoon, he will become known as “Dr. Jack O’Lantern” and bring his artistic endeavors into the daylight for all to see.
“I’m not really a pumpkin artist”, he said, “I just like to have fun and create something that I can enjoy”. The fact that he will be sharing that creation with visitors at the Original Great Pumpkin Giveaway is exciting for him.
Beginning at 3:00 that afternoon he will transform a 144-pound orange giant into a shadowbox depicting a traditional Halloween scene. The completion of Dr. Jack O’Lantern’s work will coincide with the announcement of the winner of the People’s Choice Pumpkin Carving Contest at 5:30. That winner will then have the opportunity to have the work displayed in their business or office through October 31st.
KCST 106.9 FM will be broadcasting live from 3:00-5:30 and the free pumpkins for kids 16 and under will be given away at 4 p.m. Free hotdogs courtesy of Florence Dairy Queen and Keri’s Dunes Café as well as A & W Root Beer will be served and treat bags will be given out. All, of course, while supplies last.
Two-dozen sponsors have each pitched in $25 and KCST is adding to the pot as well for the pumpkin carving contest. A panel of Jack O’Lantern aficionados will select their favorite carving for half of the prize money and visitors to the giveaway will select a “people’s choice” for the other half. That “People’s Choice” will also have the honor of hosting the giant Dr. Jack O’Lantern creation.
The Pumpkin Giveaway has been the single longest running promotion presented by Coast Radio since it originally went on the air October 31st, 1988 as KCST 1250 AM. The company has grown over the years and now has two signals, KCST 106.9 FM and KCFM 1250 AM, 104.1 FM and 103.1 FM in Mapleton.