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Students Turn Failed Pumpkin Patch Into Storm Relief

Glen Cove elementary schoolers found a practical use for scores of pumpkins left over from missed Halloween activities.

The pumpkin patch at Deasy Elementary School makes for a festive display each year at Halloween, but the event was cancelled this year when Hurricane Sandy kept students home for more than a week.

That left the school's Parent Teacher Association with about 130 pumpkins sitting around.

PTA co-presidents Ida Johnson, Sandra Potter and vice president Maria Venuto thought up a solution that used the idle squashes to offset some of the storm's impact.

Students from Deasy and Landing Elementary School, with the help of a host of volunteers, spent the Veterans Day weekend carving out, boiling and preparing the pumpkins for a large-scale cook-off. 

Partnering with Father Elias Carr, the team used the ovens at St. Rocco's Church Monday to bake the harvest. The yield was 50 loaves and seven large sheet cake trays of pumpkin bread. 

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Loaves were packaged and delivered around town, including deliveries to the Glen Cove Police Department and the Glen Cove Volunteer Fire Department "as a special thanks to these first responders for their relief efforts during the storm," the district said in an email.

Most of the bread went to victims who were displaced from their homes and seeking refuge at area shelters and warming centers. Volunteer Pam Jackson drove a delivery to hard-hit Long Beach to cheer up the residents struggling to recover there.

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