ShareThis Page
Home

Sewickley church mission flies on wings of flamingos

| Thursday, April 29, 2010

It has become the latest craze to have small pink birds roosting in your yard in Sewickley.

At least that's Ashlee Hoffman's impression.

Hoffman, a member of The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley, coordinated a fundraiser using plastic flamingos, and said the idea caught on fast. There is a long waiting list of those who want to help send 34 senior high youth group students and seven adults to Montego Bay, Jamaica, to build a preschool.

"I have people calling wanting to know how they can get them in their yard," she said last week standing outside Jill Stehnanch's "flamingoed" home on Walnut Street.

By the end of last week, the church's senior high youth group had raised more than $4,000. The June 20-26 trip will cost about $1,200 per person.

"I was hoping for maybe $1,000," Hoffman said. "I can't believe how this has exploded. It threw me for a loop."

Having heard about a similar fundraiser about 13 years ago when she was in a Johnstown church youth group, Hoffman said her group talked about but never used the flamingo idea.

But she never forgot it, and recently did some research on it.

People from the community or church first pay to sign up people they know to be "flamingoed." Members of the youth group then visit the person's yard at night to plant the pink birds.

In the morning, the residents awake to find their yard has been taken over by 10 flamingoes, one of which has a note tucked into a plastic bag hanging around its neck.

The note congratulates the yard's owner on being "flamingoed," explains the fundraiser and asks for a donation. The birds roost in the yard for 48 hours, after which they migrate to another lawn.

The yard owner can specify another "victim," and is asked to call Hoffman with the name or leave a donation in the plastic bag. The person can call the church to have the birds removed sooner.

"I was putting my 7-year-old to sleep, and I heard the commotion, but I thought maybe they were putting flamingos in the yard," said Stehnanch, a member of the church. "We had seen them in other yards. Everyone loves them."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me