Golden Coconut Winner - 2004

Dear Phellow Parrot Heads,

It is my pleasure to nominate our club for the Golden Coconut Award. As requested, this blind essay is about our club, it's activities and our involvement in our community. We have included activities for the past twelve months. Our volunteerism is centered on charities that assist children and families, animals, and environmental concerns. As one Phlock leaders stated “Sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader.” This is our humble attempt to show you that our club should be the standard bearer for the international club.

Here we are, another year older, another year wiser and a lot bigger. However, we have been “Quietly making noise” for several years. Our annual fundraisers have allowed us to DONATE nearly $100,000 over the past four years. In 2002, we donated $27,000 to our charities, including a children's abuse clinic, a children's cancer treatment center, and a local state park's programs. In 2003, we rose a little over $44,000 at our annual event and donated over $35,000.00 to local charities. 2004 looks promising with over $25,000 or more scheduled to go to our local charities. We’re still counting the seeds as of the writing of this, so we cannot give phinal phigures as of yet.

The dollars donated below are in addition to the annual fundraiser amounts.

Over the past twelve months we have logged over 2,200 volunteer hours being involved with our various projects. All hours are documented.

We remain the largest donor to our local State Park (we support their education programs where they teach guests and students about the environment and threats to it that can be avoided). In addition, we provided a donation to complete the fencing area that will protect the nesting indigenous birds. Birds of a Pheather should Phlock together.

We participate in the local American Cancer Society annual Relay 4 Life. In addition to walking all night, we have donated almost $ 20,000 in the past four years. Just this past year we moved up to a Purple Level Sponsor, which has been our goal. Our club logo was also on the event t-shirt during the last two years as a corporate sponsor. This year we won several awards including best campsite, most spirit, and the most money raised by a team.

We have adopted a two-mile stretch of highway and we clean this stretch at least three times each year by picking up trash and litter along the road. We are always having a competition of who finds the most unusual or unique item. Thankfully, we haven’t found any bodies yet. We did discover a large supply of abandoned bloody marys.

We clean a stretch of beach, marsh, or freshwater at one of our local state parks. We let the Park Ranger send us out wherever they need us. We have cleaned a little bit of everything. Beach, Marsh, pond you name it, we’ve cleaned it. However, if the State Park needs it, we have volunteered to help out at other times as well. Our newest addition to our environmental projects is the adoption of a Boat Landing.

We have been volunteering at a local Animal Shelter each week to help some of our phurry phriends while they're waiting for adoption. The shelter we selected is one that does not euthanize the animals. They keep them until they are adopted. Our volunteer work involves, walking, bathing, feeding, grooming, pretty much anything they need. In addition we held a towel and blanket drive for the shelter and were able to gather over a 100 items so our pals could be comfortable and dry.

We were honored by the Leukemia Society for their annual phone-a-thon. Our club was able to raise the most money…$1,700 during the event. We also received valuable airtime to inform the radio station listeners about our club and our cause. Speaking of air time, we now have an official local radio station and a weekend show that is devoted to rare Buffett tracks.

We collect canned goods and/or donate funds to a local mission that serves Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. This year we donated $500.

We participate in the local Special Olympics with volunteer time each year.

We had a float and many of the members rode in our areas Christmas Parade. We were actually well behaved, well received and did a great rendition of FINS at the reviewing stand. We gave out candy canes, juicy fruit and sunglasses to the children along the parade route helping to promote our club and inform the community of our purpose.

Each Christmas season, we ask for donations from members and locals in order to fund purchases for needy families with children who would not otherwise be able to have Christmas. In the past we have adopted families from local elementary schools, families recommended by members, children from a local Children's Shelter, and last year we adopted 4 families from CASA, Citizen’s Against Spousal Abuse. With approximately $2000 and some discount help from Target and a local surf shop we bought the entire wish list for each child in each family. We bought for 20 children and gave each mom a Target gift certificate for themselves. All you need to do is read the letters they send to thank us as their secret Santa and it makes it all worthwhile.

We participated in our local Alzheimer's Association walk and donated $1000 to the cause.

We were invited by the local minor league baseball team to have Parrot Head Night at the ballpark where we could share with the crowd what our club is about, again promoting the contributions of our club.

This year our local youth baseball league was in need of sponsors so we sponsored one boy’s and one girl’s team. While other sponsors have their teams named after major sports teams, our teams shout “Parrotheads” when they take the field.

Our club has incorporated many activities into our schedule to also promote camaraderie within the membership. In addition to the monthly Happy Hours, we also have conducted things including snow ski trips (dubbed Parrot Heads on Ice), camp outs, oyster roasts, rafting trips, bowling nights, and New Year's Eve celebrations.

Our club utilizes the PHIP motto of "PARTY WITH A PURPOSE", and we're really, really good at it. It continually amazes others as well as ourselves how we can raise the money we do and have such a great time doing it. It's that kind of activity and the phunloving phlock that we all are that brought us to follow Jimmy Buffett and his island lifestyle in the first place.

Add to that the numerous phriends we've made within our own club and phantastic people we've met from other clubs at Phlockings and you really can't beat the Parrot Head Family. We are honored and privileged to be a part of such a great organization and a great group of people. See you at MOTM.

With a Caribbean Soul and a Schoolboy Heart, Thanks for considering our club for the Golden Coconut Award.