A Great Pumpkin Story

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by Audra Daugherty

Once upon a time, a man named Phillip Daugherty grew a pumpkin patch every year. Living nearby was also a little girl whose birthday was near Halloween, and she loved pumpkins. Her name was Gracie Lee Haught. Every year, Phillip would take a load of special pumpkins to Gracie and her mom and dad, Hooter and Bobbi Jo. Every year they would end up rolled into Gracie’s room … they were HER pumpkins! Alas, this tradition proved short-lived, for this beautiful angel died tragically when she was only 3 years old.

Every year following Gracie’s untimely death, Phillip quietly made sure Gracie still had her pumpkins. Each October he would carefully gather the best of his crop and make sure they were delivered to Hooter and Bobbi Jo.

In October of 2011, Phillip was hospitalized, but he still made sure Gracie got her pumpkins. Phillip passed away on Oct 24, 2011, just one day after Gracie’s birthday.

The following year, a small pumpkin patch was planted with the tears of those left behind and Gracie still got her pumpkins. Now, Phillip’s friends and family invite you to help keep this tradition alive by purchasing a pumpkin from Phillip’s Pumpkin Patch. All proceeds will be donated to the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.

Somehow, something as small as a pumpkin brought two very special people together.

You can get your pumpkin tomorrow at the Payson Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m. to noon, the final Farmer’s Market of the season.

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