Stepping Up to the Plate

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This week the Missouri Western softball team helped support one of St. Joseph’s most famous landmarks in preparation for their annual Pumpkinfest fundraiser.

The Pony Express Museum is hosting their 22nd annual Pumpkinfest on Oct. 12-14 to raise money to cover their functioning costs. When they requested Missouri Western students to assist them in preparing, the softball team stepped up to plate.

When Missouri Western students were asked to make some of the estimated 1,000 pumpkins contributing to the Pumpkin Mountain lighting ceremony, the softball team slid in and took advantage of the opportunity. Instead of their Wednesday practice, they gave their time to the community.

“There’s another world out there that needs help. It’s not so selfish. I think sometimes we kind of get caught up being on an island at Missouri Western and not getting our faces in front of people who come to our games or people who need our support. It’s just another opportunity to do that,” Katey Gorsage assistant softball coach said.

Morgan Frost, a junior at Missouri Western and softball athlete said, “It kind of gets us out there in making connections with the community.”

One of the biggest features of the festival is the Pumpkin Mountain lighting ceremony that will be held on Friday night. The structure of the mountain has already been set up using a number of scaffoldings and are now just waiting to be filled with pumpkins that have been carved by community members. It is estimated that on the mountain there will be around 600 pumpkins that will be bought and carved by local businesses and 400 more from schools around the area to make the celebration monumental.  

The Pony Express Museum was created to preserve the remains of a portion of Pikes Peaks’ stables that were discovered in the 1950s. However, struggles with the funding to preserve the museum have been a topic of discussion, but with the help of the fundraiser, the history can be protected and learning can continue to be encouraged.

“All the money goes to the upkeep of our museum,” Vice President of the Pony Express Museum, Rene McCrary said. “The help will assist us out in keeping this building and everything else running.”

 With all of the historic connections that St. Joseph has, it can be easy to forget about just how important they are. Without institutions like the Pony Express Museum here to help remind us of the history of the city it would be nonexistent. The softball organization wants to make sure that organizations that are serving St. Joseph residents are being served themselves.