As the cooler weather begins to creep in showing signs of fall, and the sizzling heat of summer has passed, Pahrump is once again gearing up to host the annual Pahrump Disabilities Outreach Program Pumpkin Days event Oct. 24 from 3 p.m to 9 p.m., Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ian Deutch Memorial Park.
Pumpkin Days will be open to the general public for a donation of $5 for a single day or $10 for the entire weekend. Color-coded wristbands will be sold at the gate for the day or for a weekend pass.
PDOP, has been providing support and assistance to families, parents, siblings as well as other family members of children with any disability. It is a nonprofit organization providing a place for families to go for support, information, education, training and friendship, without having to travel to Las Vegas.
PDOP also assists families with money for necessary medical costs or other services needed to help their children. The goal of PDOP is to provide a fun, safe environment while improving services within the community.
Det. David Boruchowitz, President of PDOP, and Paula Cooper founded the organization in 2009 after learning that there was no facility or support in the community for any disabled child nor a way to educate them or their families.
Partnering with the Nye County School District has allowed PDOP to work directly with families and the school district to create lesson plans tailored to an individual child’s specific needs and learning levels.
PDOP has paved the way for families of children with disabilities to find the support, education, social networking and a variety of other needs including financial support. With the financial support, PDOP can help children and their parents get medical help or much-needed surgical interventions they might otherwise do without.
It is estimated that PDOP helps an average of 10 kids weekly with a variety of therapies. Boruchowitz said he is happy with how far PDOP has come and how it continues to grow.
Although, more importantly, he is pleased there is a place for parents to gain knowledge without feeling the stigma often attached to a person with disabilities.
According to a press release, PDOP Pumpkin Days has announced a wide variety of activities for the entire family to enjoy, including a hay maze, a hay pyramid, hay rides, a petting zoo, turtle train rides, face painting and, of course, a pumpkin patch full of pumpkins. The PDOP handmade fire truck, which debuted last year, will make another appearance after having been refurbished.
Moapa’s Roos-N-More Zoo is scheduled to arrive at the park on Saturday with some exotic animals for the children to pet and enjoy.
There will be a 5k family fun walk called “Monster Dash,” which is scheduled for Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. with a number of great prizes for the runners. All proceeds from the event will go to support PDOP Pumpkin Days. Additionally, all runners will receive free entry into PDOP Pumpkin Days events.
Last year, PDOP reportedly raised over $25,000, which was used to support and educate children with disabilities and their families and continuing to provide the PDOP Pumpkin Days.
Additionally, PDOP announced it has contracted with a licensed therapist who travels to the Pahrump community.
Boruchowitz said, “PDOP Pumpkin Days has been an authentic pumpkin festival for the community to enjoy for many years and this year is no different. We are working diligently to make it bigger and better than last year. We are excited to see all of the happy families enjoying the weekend.
“Although we are leaps and bounds from where we started, there are still hundreds of families in need of services who are unable to receive them in our community. We will continue to work to get therapists and those services here.”
PDOP Director, Paula Cooper added, “Whether you’re looking for kettle corn, pumpkin pie or our now-famous pulled pork, PDOP Pumpkin Days will not disappoint. The homemade food is already in the works and all of our events will be there. We are very excited to see everyone.”
Boruchowitz said that PDOP now has both a therapist and occupational therapist from Dream Therapies that visit Pahrump once a week, on Thursdays. Dream Therapies can be reached by calling 702-373-2871.
Anyone interested in volunteering their time can email the staff at PDOP at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 702-516-0847. Additional information can be found on their website www.pdop.info.