Western New York Parrot Head Club
The tailgate at a concert in Toronto gathered two groups of people from two countries together in 1995. The following year the same two groups met in the same exact place (unintentionally) for the same concert and figured that this was something we needed to do more often. While trying to form “The Western New York/Southern Ontario Parrot Head club" it was tough to stay in touch with our friends from Canada to make this club become a reality. Not wanting to give up on the idea, in 1997 founder David Cohen set out to get some like-minded individuals to form a club about a gentleman that no one in Buffalo knew exactly who he was. An ad was placed in the local paper and five people showed up to the first meeting and born from those five people is one of the most successful clubs in the PHiP nation. From raffling off two memberships to get to fifty and struggling to find a place that wanted us monthly, “Jimmy who?" is no longer a question asked in this part of the world and we boast almost 300 members in a city that Mr. Buffett will probably never perform.
The Western New York Parrot Head Club had a bowl-a-thon for Alzheimer's that lasted for eight years raising almost $50,000. We realized that this event was not getting the amount of people that it used to and evolved to what now is our 13th annual Chillin' In The Caribbean event that has raised almost $75,000 over the course of its years with the last 10 years donating the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
It's hard to say that we have just one charity/activity that is dear to us. We do the things that we do because it has some type of meaning to somebody in the club. Whether it is the previously mentioned Alzheimer's or Make-A-Wish or collecting pop tops for the Ronald McDonald house. One of our biggest ongoing charitable acts is the taking advantage of the many travelers we have in our club. We have collected over 300 pounds of toiletries that have been donated to the city mission. At our Christmas party we also collect gently used coats for the cold winter months and since starting this two years ago have filled up three full cars of coats. Our work with the food bank has been tremendous over the years. We have welcomed our heroes home, donated to the animals, volunteered for the missing and exploited children's fundraiser, rode our bikes, walked, and helped out many others during our 21 plus years.