Veteran fowl flummoxed by Flamingoed fundraiser

COL (Retired) Frederick F. FlamingoCOL (Retired) Frederick F. Flamingo
Community Covenant Church

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska – There’s little I haven’t seen or experienced over the years, and I didn’t believe anything could ever again shock me. I survived the Great Garden Gnome Uprising of ’09 and received the Meritorious Plumage of Valor for my actions in support of Operation Sprinkler Storm, so I thought sure spending my “golden years” of retirement supporting the Flamingoed fundraiser would be a walk in the park. I could’ve never been more wrong.

Although the fundraiser raised $1,020 last week and has thus far garnered $4,660 overall, the plastic, pink flamingo population has indeed paid a price for their role in the endeavor.

We’ve had two good flamingos disappear, never to be heard from again. Whether those flamingos left their posts in the front yards of Eagle River homes of their own volition or under duress remains to be seen, as we’ve received no word from them or any potential captors. If they hobbled away on their knee-less, metal legs with a sense of adventure to explore parts unknown, I wish them well. My hearts go out to them, though, if they now find themselves to be hidden residents within the dark bowels of an unkempt, teenage laundry basket…or worse.

Two additional flamingos did their best to stand their ground amidst a horrendous windstorm last week at great personal cost. One was whisked away in the storm to parts unknown, and all that remained of another was the pink body of the flamingo that became lodged beneath a porch. Its legs, lanyard, letter and donation were never seen again.

The families and supporters of CCC’s students have continued to rally around their fowl friends despite the odds Mother Nature has pitted against them, though, to include Karen Severson, who warmed the heart and soul of a flamingo by hosting it for tea following the storm. Mitzi Barker also showed her love by presenting her visiting flamingo with a crown, and Sharron Carlson and LoraReinbold bridged the often insurmountable flamingo and canine divide by introducing their feathered friends to the four-legged members of their household.

I remain stunned and honored to be a part of this fundraiser and can accurately report that every flamingo and student who has participated in it has been impacted by the continued support and generosity of its sponsors. The numbers of our veneered brethren have only dwindled slightly, which was to be expected, but the gains for our youth are vast.

This is one flamingo that remains honored to serve in support of CCC’s students and this fair- and at times fowl-weathered fundraiser. Thank you for all of your continued support, and Godspeed to those flamingos that remain on the front lawns of homes throughout the Chugiak-Eagle River area.