“oh put on your barefoot shoes|
When you dance beneath the moon rainbow
Can't you feel the afterglow
Oh oh why the things we do” … Jimmy Buffett
Last year’s PHIP history-making figures are now in the books, but before we address them, I would like to make some observations as well as clarifications as to the differences in the occasional Parrot Head and the PHIP Parrot Head.
The occasional Parrot Heads usually attend one Buffett concert per year. They wear t-shirts proclaiming they are Parrot Heads and sometimes place a Buffett CD into their music system that may prompt a sing along with those songs we all know by heart!! That doesn’t make them any less Parrot Heads because they enjoy the music & lifestyle Jimmy Buffett personifies. They actually experience the same joys and fun attending a concert tailgate party or seated in a Margaritaville Café sipping on a Margarita … much like that of PHIP Parrot Heads.
There are, however, many noticeable differences between you, the PHIP Parrot Head member and the occasional Parrot Head … the first being PHIP Parrot Heads are loyal not only to the music and the lifestyle but historically they have worked together as a humanitarian group to leave their own communities “a little better than they found them and having a blast while doing so!”
Currently, there are 33 PHIP Clubs who have been in operation 20 years or more and 97 Clubs are 15 years or older. Those are very impressive longevity numbers considering that last year Parrot Heads in Paradise, Inc. closed out the year with 238 Chapters, including our first ever chapters in Alaska & Puerto Rico!! Many of our loyal, hard- working members have remained with their Home Club since the beginning!!
It is the PHIP Parrot Heads who go above and beyond the required 2 charitable or environmental projects per calendar year and raise their FINS high to volunteer whenever their community is in need … (and whose communities aren’t in need of volunteers in today’s world?) And when PHIP Parrot Heads see the opportunity to give something back … to their own communities, to the environment and to their fellow man, they do it in a big way!!
PHIP in 2013 closed the year out at 27,068 members with many Chapters seeing a significant increase in local membership. In dollars donated, we can now add more than $4.1 million to our eleven year totals!! Fundraising of that magnitude in one year is no easy feat and requires so very many willing bodies to step up and lend their time. And as we all know, volunteered hours are the best donation because our donated time is something we can personally never get back. PHIP is proud to report last year’s man hours totaled 77,738 man hours donated!!
PHIP Parrot Heads hail from all walks of life, from very different geographical locations and climates but whenever possible they still host a Party With A Purpose locally or nationally. One perfect example of working together was the wonderful Chapters who participated in our Alzheimer’s National Team efforts. With over 50 PHIP chapters participating, our National Team raised $117,025.72 ... 116% of our $100,000 fundraising goal!! Again, THANKS to all, especially our Top 3 PHIP Chapters, Chicago PHC, Los Angeles PHC and Sarasota Bay PHC.
In 2013, during the annual PHIP gathering, Meeting of the Minds, held in Key West,attendees not only sought out spirits but also delivered the spirit of giving while on island. The PHIP Blood Drive collected 155 pints of blood out of 172 potential donors! "Team Parrothead" raised $13,504 in the annual Zonta Walk! Last year’s Toy Drive produced 23 huge boxes of toys and $400 in gift cards! And the MOTM Raffle generated $8990.00 for charity. Thanks to everyone who registered and donated in so many ways. It is because of you, the PHIP Parrot Head, that check presentations in the amount of $5000 each were made to: the Florida Keys SPCA, the Key West Police Athletic League, Wesley House Family Services, Samuel's House, Inc. and the Key West Fire Department.
Our 2013 Golden Coconut recipient, Cedar Creek Lake PHC, received their award in traditional Texas style with a BIG turnout at both MOTM and the PHIP/MOTM General Meeting. Congratulations to Cedar Creek Lake upon joining the prestigious group … the Golden Coconut Clubs!!
Our 2013 Newsletter Contest Winners were (1st) Parrot Heads of the Puget Sound, (2nd) Coastal Jersey Parrot Head Club and (3rd) Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association and all donated their winnings to the charities of their club’s choice.
The above mentioned Party in Key West (MOTM) could not have been possible without our generous Sponsors & Friends: Margaritaville, Inc., Margaritaville Vacation Club, Margaritaville Spirits, Landshark Lager, Pat Croce & Co. Key West Group, Margaritaville Foods, LLC, Margaritaville Suncare, Karastan Rugs, Margaritaville Key West, Bev Shots, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, Windjammer and Blenheim Ginger Ale. PHIP would like to take this opportunity to thank them again for not only their sponsorship but for their fabulous raffle prize donations!!
PHIP Parrot Heads generously provide so many needs in their local communities! Examples include forming walk teams in support of Alzheimers, Cancer and MS research studies. They cook at the local Ronald McDonald Houses and local homeless shelters. They gather canned goods and volunteer at local food banks. They collect gently used clothing such as shoes, socks, coats, hats and gloves. Annually many communities benefit from their generous Blood Drives/Donations. Children wake up to a wonderful Christmas morning with new bicycles and toys awaiting them. Special Olympics and Special Needs Playgrounds and Make-A-Wish are Club projects that remain favorite charities served. Because of PHIP Parrot Heads, many local Animal Shelters benefit from donated food and cleaning supplies. They also cook for First Responders and or their neighboring communities post-disasters. They raise money for Wounded Warriors, Fisher House, USO and the Red Cross. They host events for the elderly in Assisted Living & Nursing Homes and they contribute to Hospice.
In an effort to preserve Mother Earth for future generations, PHIP Parrot Heads pick up trash, adopt and maintain Highways and Green Spaces. They plant trees in parks and remove trash on the banks of local lakes, rivers, streams or coastal areas.
In closing, the PHIP Board of Directors would like to thank each & every one of our PHIP members for your generosity, your time and your efforts in 2013. Because you, the PHIP Parrot Head understands why the things we do means so much to so many.
Director of Communications
PHIP Board of Directors