TWENTYNINE PALMS — Two groups of Twentynine Palms High School athletes are hoping to take advantage of crowds gathering for Pioneer Days to raise money for their teams.
Wildcat track and field athletes will take a break from chasing records in running and jumping to see if they can reach a sales record at their Pioneer Days Kid Zone pumpkin patch.
The pumpkin patch will be one of many activities at Children’s Day from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, on the soccer field at Luckie Park.
The First Class Miners will bring a museum of gold-mining memorabilia and gold-panning demonstrations.
Safe Moves will hold a bike rodeo for kids and Home Depot will host a children’s workshop. There will be games and a solar telescope from Sky’s the Limit.
Proceeds from the track and field pumpkin patch will help purchase new hurdles.
Wildcat Athletic Director Jeremy Johnson told head coach Ronda Lockett-Morton that the Morongo Unified School District would match up to $6,000 of the team’s fundraising efforts.
“This is an unprecedented amount of support and we’d like to reach the entire $6,000 goal,” Lockett-Morton said.
The team has also planned a golf tournament and is looking at a holiday running event.
Members have also contributed sweat equity to the project.
Nicholas Ornelaz-Perez is refurbishing 20 old wooden hurdles to be used for training for his Eagle Scout project.
His brother Matthew Ornelaz-Perez is coordinating storage space for the new hurdles to be safely and properly stored for his Eagle Scout project.
“Providing improved infrastructure, our long-term goal is to have a small annual invitational,” Lockett-Morton said.
“Being able to invite small schools like ourselves to give athletes a chance to compete on a fast track where the weather is perfect will be a tremendous fundraising for the program and bringing back the Lions Invitational or something close to that is something I feel strongly about as an alumni.”
Pumpkins will cost $1 for minis and $5 for regular sizes. The patch will open at 11 a.m. and close when all the pumpkins are gone.
The boys basketball team will sell barbecue plates at the Bowladium, 73768 Gorgonio Drive, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, after the Pioneer Days Parade.
The parade will step off at 10 a.m. and march east on Twentynine Palms Highway from Split Rock Avenue to Adobe Road and then north on Adobe Road past City Hall.
Basketball players will serve pulled-pork or tri-tip sandwiches with one side dish each for $12, or hamburgers or hot dogs with a side dish for $6. They plan to keep selling until 4 p.m. depending on how busy they are.
“We have been preselling tickets for a few weeks to get an idea of how many plates to prepare, but there will be a limited amount available to sell the day of,” coach Michael Usher said.
“We are looking to purchase new varsity uniforms and are also needing to raise money for hotels for our holiday tournament this year, which will have our team in San Diego for five days following Christmas for the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic,” he said.