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Pumpkin patch, airplane candy drop to benefit Alzheimer’s caregivers

The Summerhouse Farms

The Summerhouse Farms will host a pumpkin patch with an airplane candy drop, live music and family activities to benefit the caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients.

On Sept. 29 and 30, the Lynden Legacy Foundation has a fall pumpkin patch with a purpose.

Once a year, The Summerhouse Farms in Charleston opens its expansive 50-acre legacy property to the public to have fun and raise money for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Entry is $20.

Families can expect pumpkins, live music, pickleball, an airplane candy drop, games, a 50-foot swing, zipline, spud launchers and more.

Lisa Harbertson Photography

Katie Blanch is the director of the foundation which provides resources and support for friends and family of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It was founded during the family’s difficult journey caring for beloved wife and mother, Lynette Blanch.

She was diagnosed in 2013 with early-onset Alzheimer’s. But Katie said long before that, her mother’s often heartbreaking and erratic actions revealed a “slow, ambiguous and betraying” decline.

“When she was diagnosed, I distinctly remember being in the room with my dad and her saying, ‘She is 99.9% worse than the worst cases we've seen," said Katie. "So she's a 1 percenter, and she will need around-the-clock care within the next year.’ So she gave us some numbers that were pretty devastating.”

Lynden Legacy Intro

The family and a team of caregivers helped Lynette at home for six years before needing additional resources. Katie said a wealth of information is available about Alzheimer’s but is limited for helping caregivers.

“And there's a ton of people that are helping people, but there's not a connection, there's not a bridge," she said. "And that's what Lynden Legacy's goal is to be the bridge between the information, the resources, everything that's out there and the people that need it: the caregivers.” 

Katie encouraged anyone who needs support to reach out. She said 100% of the funds raised at the fall festival will go toward providing respite grants that give caregivers temporary relief from caring for their loved ones.

Lisa Harbertson Photography

Lynette’s grandchildren called her “Oma,” “Grandma” in German, a nod to her heritage. Though she designed The Summerhouse Farms, she was never able to live there and Oma’s Village was built in her honor. This collection of small houses includes a bakery, grocery store, post office and apothecary. The village will have activities and treats for kids.

Katie said the event is also a great date night and she hopes people see its deeper purpose. “I hope people experience the spirit and the magic that is here at Summerhouse Farms and my mom's legacy, which was family. She loved kids and that's why we have Oma’s Village.”

And Oma's legacy will continue to provide support, advocacy and hope to those who need it.