Blue pumpkins return: All proceeds from the sale go the the BPD K-9 unit, in honor of Lt. Lehner


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The blue pumpkins are back. You can support the Buffalo Police K-9 unit October 12th and 13th, in honor of Lt. Craig Lehner, who passed away on the job two years ago this month.

“We’re expecting about 800 pumpkins to go this year,” Allison Milligan said, the founder of the fundraiser.

“Craig was a close friend of my husband’s and they served in the military together,” she said.

For countless hours a day, and countless days a week, you’ll find Milligan in her backyard, spray painting pumpkins. She’s preparing for her third annual blue pumpkin sale.

On Saturday, October 12, she will be at her house, selling the pumpkins from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will also be a Chinese auction there that day, along with a hot dog stand and a craft vendor. On Sunday, October 13, she will be there again, starting at 9 a.m., selling the pumpkins until they’re sold out.

If you want a blue pumpkin, Milligan’s address is: 118 W. Woodside Ave, Buffalo.

She does it all in honor of Lt. Craig Lehner, who passed away during a dive training exercise in the Niagara River, in 2017. His K9 Shield, was near and dear to his heart, so all the proceeds go to the BPD K-9 unit.

Last year, Milligan raised $4,000 for the unit. Two years ago, she raised $10,000 for Lt. Lehner’s family.

If you want a pumpkin, Milligan doesn’t put a price on any of the gourds. Whatever you want to donate, she’ll accept.

“A lot of people come with stories, knowing him, a lot of people never had the chance to meet him,” she said. “Everybody thanks us and are very happy they can be apart of something to honor him.”

Milligan goes through about 50 cans of spray pain creating the pumpkins. But everything, including the pumpkins, are donated.

Again, if you want a pumpkin, they’ll be available on October 12th and 13th, at 118 W. Woodside Avenue, Buffalo.

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