Pick Your Pumpkin Fun Drive
In October 2020, the New Jersey Chapter hosted the inaugural Pick Your Pumpkin fun drive through the scenic farmlands of western New Jersey and along the Delaware River to raise funds for NORWESCAP, a not-for-profit organization providing social services to low-income families in northwest New Jersey. The family-friendly event, which replaced the club’s traditional Whack Your Turkey fun rally, provided participants with an opportunity to enjoy beautiful weather and au-tumn foliage while identifying roadside attractions from the organizers’ list of bad puns and silly clues. The drive through the scenic back roads along the Delaware River drew more than 70 cars and 150 participants, with a mix of longtime and new club members, and raised $1,600 for NORWESCAP.
New Jersey Chapter president Neil Gambony and Helene Meissner, director of the NORWESCAP Food Bank, spoke at the start of the event to thank the participants for their generosity. The New Jersey Chapter’s $3,070 donation will support her organization’s mission to provide food for those in our community who are hungry or at risk of hunger. Each dollar donated allows the NORWESCAP Food Bank to provide fourteen pounds of food for distribution to a local family in need.
The route began in historic Clinton and headed south-west on County Route 513, passing the iconic Red Mill Museum and continuing through bucolic farmlands toward Pittstown and Frenchtown. In Frenchtown, the route passed near the home and retail store once owned by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert before turning south on NJ Route 29, following the eastern shore of the Delaware River south through Stockton and Lambertville. The participants’ crossing of the Delaware River in Lambertville over the his-toric New Hope-Lambertville Bridge encountered some congestion, but was much less dramatic than General George Washington’s crossing of the icy Delaware River in December 1776 just a few miles downstream—and definitely not as worthy of memorial-ization by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze in an oil painting.
From New Hope, the route turned and followed Pennsylvania Route 32 along Delaware Canal State Park on the western shore of the Delaware River toward Riegelsville. Passing the historic Riegelsville Inn—built in 1838 to accommodate weary travelers along the once-bustling Delaware River corridor, and still serving diners in the original stone structure—the group crossed back into New Jersey over the historic Riegelsville Bridge designed and built by the John A. Roebling’s Sons Co. (better known for their design of a certain bridge between Manhat-tan and Brooklyn). Once back on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, the group continued northeast on County Route 627 through Fines-ville before turning east on New Jersey Route 173 toward Asbury, where the fun drive ended with an outdoor lunch at the Mountain View Chalet.