Fall means pumpkins, and pumpkins mean the annual Wilton Kiwanis Club‘s Pumpkin Patch, in front of the Wilton Historical Society (224 Danbury Rd.). The club will kick off this year’s Pumpkin Patch with a Family Day event this Saturday, Sept. 28 at 9 a.m.. The Kiwanis Club–Wilton’s longest serving volunteer organization–is also using the event as part of its effort to provide an opportunity for families looking for ways to introduce service and volunteering as a family activity.

Families who attend between 9-11 a.m. and pitch in to get the sale ready to officially open at 11 a.m. will receive a $5 coupon toward a pumpkin to take home. Family volunteers will help club members arrange pumpkins and gourds in the Pumpkin Patch, getting the Patch ready to begin selling pumpkins, hay, cornstalks, and more. Donuts will be provided for an extra energy boost.

“Volunteering does more than make people feel good,” says Kiwanis president-elect Mary Anne Mendola Franco. “It enhances social networks and improves mental health. And, it contributes to higher levels of happiness, self-esteem, self-worth, and life satisfaction. Come meet new friends, learn about new things, and work with us to make Wilton all it can be. It’s becoming part of the community.”

The Kiwanis Club is active and visible around the Wilton community throughout the year. The club supports individuals and local organizations in need, with an emphasis on children, raising funds, distributing contributions, and performing physical work to enhance the town and surrounding areas. Over the past four years Kiwanis has donated more than $120,000 to deserving organizations, including the Wilton Family YMCA, Wilton Social Services, Wilton Chess Park, Visiting Nurses, Wilton Library, and many more.

The Kiwanis quarterly weekend food drives outside Village Market and Stop & Shop help restock empty shelves at the Wilton Food Pantry, valued at $160,000. In addition, through the Homefront building project, the annual Citrus Sale and many other efforts, the club members are very active in helping and fundraising to give back to Wilton.

This year the Kiwanis Club introduced a new Family Membership to provide one of the rare ways for families to become involved in volunteering together, and teach even young children the value of giving back and engaging with the community. Family members will participate four times a year on a weekend morning with like-minded Wilton neighbors for breakfast followed by a community-building service project.

The first Family Day took place at the annual Kiwanis Club’s Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast. Upcoming projects planned for the coming year (subject to changing needs) are the Quarterly Food Drive Weekend on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. (meet at Wilton Library), and the 2020 Town Clean Up Day on Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. (meet at the Gazebo in Wilton Center).

The club welcomes questions–email Mary Anne Franco or Jeff Kaplan.