Ladies and Gentlemen, in their own words, the San Antonio Parrot Head Club!
San Antonio, Texas, is well known for The Alamo and the famous River Walk, but in 1998 when Garrett Van Delden, and several of his family and friends returned from a Jimmy Buffett concert in Las Vegas, energized and looking for a local parrot head club – there was none in San Antonio. They had been Jimmy Buffett fans for a long time and realized that they wanted to join the Parrot Heads in Paradise (PHIP) community and “Party with a Purpose". He gathered a small group of dedicated people, his family members and close friends to form the first Board of Directors for the San Antonio Parrot Head Club (SAPHC) in March 1999. Then they set out to grow the membership and support for the community.
The SAPHC has two events a year on a consistent basis, the first being the club's anniversary party. This party is the biggest fund raiser of the year. We have a full band play because our members love to dance. It includes a silent auction and other raffles for other donated items. This event supports the San Antonio Food Bank and we also collect non-perishable food for them. We just concluded our 2017 event and though totals are not in yet, it was very successful for us. The other annual event that we have is our “Survive" weekend on the Texas coast for our members. We take about 150 club members and family about 170 miles to the coast for a three day event to “get away and unplug". We have live music, provide food, activities at the host hotel pool, a bonfire on the beach and other beach activities. We have several fun contests as well. Keeping this in “the family" has fostered a sense of closeness and comradery between members which benefits the club all year round. Any money collected above expenses goes to the Alzheimer's Association. This has helped us be among the top ten Alzheimer's Walk Teams in PHIP and locally.
While SAPHC supports numerous charities throughout the year, we have a strong tradition of helping the San Antonio Food Bank in a variety of ways. Quarterly, we have a Food Bank work day and work packing and sorting food items to be distributed to families in the local area. Additionally, we always have a team for their Great Turkey Challenge, a 5K walk/run on Thanksgiving Day. One of our continuing efforts for the last seven years is supporting the County Line Music Series at the County Line Bar-b-q off IH-10. Every Thursday evening from Apr-Aug we gather at the County Line and collect both food and monetary donations for the Food Bank. Our efforts have not gone unrecognized as we were the 2011 Food Bank Volunteer Group of the year. Additionally, nominated by the Food Bank to the United Way, we won the 2014 San Antonio United Way Volunteer Group of the Year for our continuing support of the Food Bank.
We have a great core membership group that works together plays together well. Though members come and go, we have some that love to volunteer for our charities and others that come for the social connections. We were fortunate to win the PHIP Golden Coconut Award in 2009 and feel we still embody those qualities that made us worthy of the award. No matter what the activity, we always have fun - even when picking up trash, sorting food, collecting donations, wrapping and delivering presents or listening to great music – we've been told that we always bring “the party" to whatever we are doing. We also have members that love to travel and support many other parrot head clubs and events, and you can usually pick us out from the crowd!
To learn more about (or join!) the San Antonio Parrot Head Club, check out their website: