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October 6, 2012

Pumpkin Day for police officer's son

Today marks the latest event in what has grown in little more than year into a Gloucester fundraising tradition, with the 9 a.m. kick-off of Patrican Pumpkin Day at Marshalls Farm.

Officer Aran John Patrican was a beloved part of the Gloucester community, and when he died last December, taken at the age of 45 by a viral infection, his father, Edmond Patrican, told the Times that with his son, a part of him had passed, too.

His son was an 18-year-veteran of the Gloucester Police Department, something his father Edmond was immensely proud of. There was much to be proud of in Aran Patrican’s life. But the thing that Aran Patrican himself was perhaps most proud of was his young son.

Just 1-year-old when his father died, Thomas Patrican quickly became the focus of ongoing fundraising efforts organized by friends and family. The aim? A $50,000 financial nest egg, which, with skillful management, will hopefully grow to one day cover the costs of his 4-year college education.

Today’s event at Marshalls should give that nest a nice boost. Family-owned and -operated for generations, Marshalls — with its selection of home-grown and local produce and culinary items, its greenhouses, petting zoo, and — it being fall — its famous Halloween House — will open its doors and its heart for a great cause: The Thomas Patrican Scholarship Fund.

“Aran Patrican,” says Robert Marshall, who’s pledged 20 percent of the day’s proceeds to the fund, “was a great friend of mine.” There are many who’d be first to second that emotion, and they’ll all be on hand to celebrate Patrican Pumpkin Day at Marshalls Farm.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Marshalls is located at 144 Concord St.

Helping children

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, has appointed Pathways for Children President and CEO Sue Todd to serve as his designee on a new advisory board that will help guide the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services in providing services to troubled youths and their families.

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