SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — You don’t have to travel to the pumpkin patch to pick up pumpkins for Halloween. Instead, you’ll find a busy after-school stand near downtown Sioux Falls.
7-year-old Leo Koch has the pumpkin sales pitch down pat.
I want a weird one.”
“Okay, the last weird one is right here.”
Leo and his two sisters have been selling pumpkins at this stand by the Carriage House on South Phillips Avenue all week long. It’s a responsibility that Leo doesn’t take lightly.
“With pumpkins, you kind of gotta like have a lot of muscles and grip it a lot,” Leo said.
The pumpkins come from a family-owned patch in Hand County. They cost $5 apiece. But the children aren’t pocketing their pumpkin profits. Instead, they’re donating all sales to Make A Wish South Dakota.
“Because my uncle. He died and he got to go to Make A Wish,” Leo said.
Leo’s uncle was both a former Make A Wish child, as well as a Children’s Miracle Network Champion. Joseph Keating was born with a rare blood abnormality inside his brain and died last fall at the age of 26.
“And he got a Make A Wish when he was five years old in the year 2000. So his wish was to go to Disney World, so great family memory when he was a little boy so we chose that to donate to because it’s just something near and dear to our hearts,” Joseph Keating’s sister Kaylee Koch said.
Now the Koch children are honoring their uncle’s memory so other sick children can see their own wishes come true. Such is the power of a pumpkin.
The kids hope to raise $5-thousand for Make A Wish. They’re about halfway to their goal. They’re expecting another batch of pumpkins coming in over the weekend. They’ll be running their stand after school Thursday, Friday and Monday.