Flamingo flocks put the ‘fun’ in the B-UHS Boys Basketball team’s most recent fundraiser

BUCKHANNON – Have you seen flocks of flamingos roosting in yards across Buckhannon?

The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Basketball team started a fundraiser in November where the team members ‘flock’ a yard of an individual or business for a minimum donation of $20 to the team. Fundraiser organizer Vanessa Perkins said when a person has been flocked, they will find flamingos in their yard, along with a note that explains why the flamingos are there.

“If they request for someone to be flocked, then the flock is put in that person’s yard with an envelope that has an explanation of what we’re doing, and an opportunity to donate to have your flocks removed, and a place for suggestions of somebody else to be flocked,” Perkins said.

Another option is to purchase flocking insurance, to ensure no flamingos will roost in your yard.

“Flocking insurance has been a huge hit,” Perkins said. “We have several people in the community who have made a donation. It’s a minimum of $15, but several businesses in the community and residents have made a donation and filled out anti-flocking insurance to prevent those pesky flocks.”

Flamingos mysteriously appear in the yard of the Upshur County Board of Education on one recent early morning. / Photo courtesy of Vanessa Perkins

Participant in the fundraiser Amy King said it is $20 to have someone flocked and the same to have a flock removed.

“Players will take their flock of flamingos and put them in the yard or in the business’s property and there’s a ‘ransom’ note that explains if the person would like to donate to get the flock away,” King said. “They can go away if they don’t donate, but we hope that they do.”

Perkins said if someone would like to have another person flocked, they can message the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Basketball Team’s Facebook page or contact a player or a player’s parent directly.

“We’re trying to purchase some equipment for the kids, and it all goes back towards the kids for their food when they travel and helps purchase equipment that they need for the team, and we hope if it’s a big enough fundraiser then maybe it’ll help the parents with expenses they usually pay out of pocket,” Perkins said.

Perkins said the fundraiser has elicited a great reaction so far, and they have raised almost $3,000 in two weeks.

“We have a lot of businesses that support this, and it’s a great way for us to bring awareness to the basketball team,” Perkins said. “We really want to raise money, but it’s also to encourage our community members to support the team by coming to the game, so in every packet there’s a schedule of our basketball games, too.”

There are 30 players that each have their own flock of flamingos, and four different flocks can be found in the community each week.

“I think it’s been good and it’s something different that Upshur County hasn’t seen, and everybody’s been really receptive to it and positive, and they kind of joke around and say, ‘where’s the flock going to be next?’” Perkins said.

The fundraiser will continue until about the middle of January.

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