MASSENA — Chuck a pumpkin into the St. Lawrence River to help Back the Pack.
Eyland’s restaurant at the Massena Country Club, 820 Route 131, Massena, is hosting its first Pumpkin Chuckin’ event from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The pumpkins will be launched by the “Pumpkin Punisher,” an air compressed cannon that was built by Brian Haggett and Cameron Sloan. It has a 6-inch pipe where the pumpkins are placed for the launching.
“It shoots 5- to 6-inch pumpkins about a quarter mile into the river,” General Manager William Kane said.
“He’s booked every weekend. It’s the first time he has done the river,” Owner Lee-Anne Flaro said.
Because the pumpkins must be a certain size, she said they traveled around the north country to find the right ones.
“We have to take measurements,” Ms. Flaro said.
Participants can purchase a pumpkin for $5 each and have their names placed on them before they head into the river. All proceeds will be donated to Back the Pack, the group that provides healthy weekend snacks to students in Massena schools.
“I really think it’s important,” she said.
Although Ms. Flaro and Mr. Kane knew about a similar event in Clayton, a conversation at the restaurant spurred the idea to hold the Pumpkin Chuckin’ locally. Organizers hope to make it an annual event.
“We kind of stumbled upon it,” Ms. Flaro said.
She said they’ve cleared the event with the U.S. Coast Guard, so now it’s just a matter of launching the pumpkins on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re trying to give back. It’s something exciting. We went to one and everybody was into it, people of all ages from infants to 80s and 90s,” Mr. Kane said.
Pumpkins will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and they’ve been conducting a poll to find out how much interest there might be. He said more than 300 people have expressed interest.
“We have people saying, ‘I want to buy 10 pumpkins,’” he said.
In addition to the Pumpkin Chuckin’ event, beverages, adult drinks, hot dogs, hamburgers and sausage will be available for purchase.
“We think it’s going to be pretty cool,” Mr. Kane said.