SAN FRANCISCO—Wyeth Coulter, 18, held his last charity pumpkin sale in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 27. Coulter had been growing pumpkins and holding fundraisers for the past 11 years to help local charities in the Bay Area.
Coulter was only 8 when he founded the project that united his love for autumn and Halloween to benefit the homeless community.
At the time, Coulter claims he was “starting to see some of the bad in the world: people on the street, animals being abused, kids who [don’t] have the same opportunities.”
He claims that he did not have an understanding of the way the world worked, or why people ended up where they were, but he knew he had to help them in some way.
Coulter’s project began when he asked parents if he could build houses for the homeless. After his parents explained the costs, complexities, and legality issues that would come with constructing homes, Coulter asked his parents if he could grow pumpkins instead. Coulter’s family agreed, and he began growing pumpkins each year on the large spread of land owned by his family off of Lakeview Highway in Sonoma County.
In his first year of starting the pumpkin patch, Wyeth raised $100 for the San Francisco SPCA. By 2012, Coulter made over $20,000, and was able to divide the money between three organizations: the San Francisco SPCA; FacesSF, a child development center; and San Francisco Marin Food Bank.
In his last year of fundraising, his goal was to raise $20,000, but he reached more than $35,000 in 2015, bringing his 11-year total to over $230,000 in donations.
Coulter told reporter Garvin Thomas of “Bay Area Proud,” that looking back at his eight-year-old self, he never thought he’d be invested in this project for so long. He has enjoyed each year of growing and selling pumpkins as much as when he first began the project.
He confirmed that 2015 will be the last year of his pumpkin sale. “Gotta go to college,” he stated. Coulter will be graduating from San Francisco University High School and starting college next year.