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'Ugly pumpkins' help Jamestown boy raise money to help cancer victims

Charlie Jones discovered a passion for unattractive pumpkins and turned it into a beautiful act of kindness.

JAMESTOWN, Ind — A 10-year-old Jamestown boy turned ugly pumpkins into cash and then a beautiful act of kindness 

Charlie Jones surprised even himself.

His family's patio is decorated with lots of pumpkins. Charlie went down the list.  

"Ugly pumpkins, pretty pumpkins, jack 'o lantern pumpkins, gourds," he said.

But the really ugly pumpkins - green, blue, red or white, the misshaped and weird-looking - are the ones Charlie likes the most.

"I said, 'I'll keep some crazy pumpkins because not many people are going to stop,'" he explained  

And then, business then went crazy.

"Yeah, a lot of people stopped," Charlie told 13News. 

In the spring, Charlie got on a tractor with the idea of planting a pumpkin patch. At the time, his entire family, mom, dad, three daughters and Charlie himself, were sickened by the coronavirus, then isolated and recovering.

"I was bored and it was a bummer of a year so far," Charlie said. 

To get strange looking pumpkins, Charlie had to harvest seeds from rotting pumpkins. 

"I would fill buckets at a time and take them into the house and clean them up," he said. We asked how his mom felt about the process.    

"Oh yeah," Charlie replied with a smile. "She was fully thrilled."

Corrie Jones said she doesn't remember being thrilled. 

"We might have a different opinion about that," she said with a big smile.

But there's no argument about the result. The family hauled trailer load after trailer load of ugly pumpkins from the pumpkin patch to plenty of waiting customers.

"This was just amazing, truly amazing, people lining up for ugly pumpkins," Charlie said, shaking his head. 

He gave the profits, $720 in all, to the Boone County Cancer Society. 

"He has a kind heart and a thoughtful, giving nature,” Corrie said. "I was incredibly proud of him.”

The donation couldn't have come at a better time. The executive director of the Boone County Cancer Society, Joy Kaylor, said the pandemic has cut fundraising efforts in half.

Charlie intends to do it all over again next year.

"The people don't stop having cancer, so why should I stop selling pumpkins?" he said.

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