NORTH SMITHFIELD – If a flock of pink, plastic flamingos suddenly shows up on your lawn, don’t be alarmed.
The traveling birds are just helping to raise money for the North Smithfield High School 2021 senior class.
The class is holding a Flocking Flamingo Fundraiser – giving residents a chance to surprise friends and neighbors with a light-hearted prank while supporting the student’s hoped for end of year events.
Locals are invited to pay to have the flock show up on a friend’s or neighbor’s lawn uninvited.
The flock was donated to the students by parents, who note that this year’s class has lost much due to virus restrictions.
“Due to Covid, they have not been able to participate in fundraising or plan any senior events, so there isn’t a budget or anything ‘in the works’ for them to have the traditional senior events,” said Kim McCauley, mother of senior Kylie McCauley. “They missed out on junior prom, senior homecoming, participating in school sporting events, senior supper, senior awards night, senior trip, senior chorus and band concert, and the list goes on and on.”
McCauley led an effort to organize a parent group to help the seniors.
“By raising money they have the opportunity to organize something before the end of their senior year,” McCauley said.
The class has seven flocks of flamingos, and students go out in teams on designated nights to move the birds. Four teams of between four and six students will be out stealthily, “migrating,” the flamingos on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights.
“This flocking is done in good spirits and not meant to be mean,” notes a flyer on the effort, to be left on the homes of the unsuspecting victims. “These flamingos will roost on your lawn until later this week when they will mysteriously migrate to another friend’s lawn.”
Those who fall victim to the good-natured caper can either donate to the students and include the address of the next home to “flock,” or make a donation without specifying where the birds should head.
McCauley said you do not have to receive the flamingos to submit a, “flocking order,” but the group is hopeful that all who do get flocked keep the fun – and donations – going by sending the birds on to a friend or neighbor.
If you choose not to donate, the birds reportedly will still move on.
Those who do choose to send the flamingos to another’s lawn will give the students a fun and safe way to connect to each other – and the larger community – after a long year of pandemic-induced separation.
“Your generous contribution goes a long way in breaking the isolation for our seniors and it allows them to spread positivity while they flock and unflock flamingos throughout town in a fun and Covid-19 safe way,” the flyer explains.
“The flocking is done in the spirit of spreading positivity and hoping to make someone laugh or smile,” said McCauley. “They have been isolated for so long and with so many significant restrictions, this gives them a chance to be with their friends, doing something fun and raising money so they can organize an activity or two before the end of the year.”
Those hoping to direct the flock and support the seniors can text (401) 767-7656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and send your contribution by Venmo to @Laurie-Neri-1, or send a check made out to Laurie Neri to 1 Denny Court, North Smithfield, RI 02896.