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Family to honor Renee Dermott, give back to schools with pumpkin patch

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Renee Dermott was passionate about fall. So this season, her family is honoring the late Pasco County teacher in a special way to help give back to the community.Dermott died of cardiac arrest after testing positive for COVID-19 over the summer.“It was a passionate time for her it really brought out like her spirit,” said her daughter, Madalyn Ziongas.She said her parents wanted to move to North Carolina where her mother wanted to start a wedding venue, with a farm and pumpkins.“She just loved the fall, loved pumpkin patches, loved halloween it was just her time,” said her husband, John Dermott.This weekend, the Dermott family’s plan to transform the yard at the home they spent years building together, into a pumpkin patch to honor her.“The pumpkins and the leaves and the festivities, like hot cocoa in your hand, those little things really were the most for her and she really appreciated and had a lot of gratitude for those things,” said Ziongas.They plan to have a truck for photo opps, hay, more than 300 pumpkins, decoration and iced hot chocolate. They said the event will be donation based. They plan to give proceeds back to where Dermott taught.“She was an absolutely dedicated teacher and mother and she was always looking for ways to give back,” said Ziongas.“I just can’t say how much I loved her,” said Dermott, describing their love story and how he wanted to do one more thing for her still.While the family says it may not be the biggest fall festival, they hope it’s one community members remember, as they honor Renee. “These are little things I guess and the little things really are the big things,” said Ziongas.The pumpkin patch runs Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at 7519 Katherine Drive in New Port Richey. If they don’t run out, they’ll open Sunday too.

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