What a great way to start the summer with fabulous weather for our regular PHirst PHriday of the month PHlocking at The Emerald Club! The warm weather brought out a host of Parrot Heads to hang out in the outdoor Tiki patio and listen to foot stompin’, hand wavin’, butt wigglin’ tunes pumped out by our good buds and PHellow Parrot Heads Dickie Scearce & Jack Ketner. Lots of good times and laughter among friends old and new with “competitive” Coconut Bowling. Not as easy as it would seem to roll a coconut into a hula hoop but we still handed out 8 T-shirts to those skilled (well lucky, actually) individuals who rolled for glory. Other folks who wandered in must have thought we were a pretty good crew as we signed up 25 new members to the PHlock that night. Welcome to the “Party With A Purpose”, newbies! Carrying on during and after the PHlocking, we set out to help out the Friends of Atlantic House in Morehead City (a recovery program for adults diagnosed with serious and persistent mental health illnesses) by collecting change and donations for their Miles of Pennies fundraiser. We also sponsored a hole in the Crystal Coast Civitan Club’s Charity Golf Tournament to help them out in their fundraising efforts for community projects.
Just a warm up for the grand event, however… our 9th Annual Beach Bicycle Poker Run. This is our largest charity fundraiser of the year that seems to grow bigger and bigger and more and more fun each and every year, with all funds raised going to the Hope for the Warriors charity that supports our wounded warriors and their families who have given so much of themselves for all of us. Despite weather predictions, the day turned out to be beautiful and we started registering a herd of people at around 1:00, shot out some free T shirts into the crowd with a monster slingshot (saving a bunch more for later in the evening) , and followed up with a bike decorating contest at 1:45 which got some pretty creative (and oft times a tad bizarre) decorations. Gypsies, fruitcakes, and coconuts were all over the place. Of course during the registration (and throughout the day) we drummed up more charity funds with a huge raffle with all kinds of items donated by generous supporting local merchants and individuals. We topped last year’s attendance of 114 folks with 148 participants this year hopping on their bicycles at 2:00 and pedaling on off in no particular order to our 5 sponsoring stops: The Emerald Club, El Zarape, Rucker John’s, The Emerald Grill, & Paddy’s Pub. Quite the sight to see the flow of bicycles zipping up and down the Town’s well used bike/multi-use PATH to pick up a card at each stop, party with friends, draw for door prizes, and get back to The Emerald Club by 5:30 to see who had the best poker hand from cards handed out by our hard working (thanks so much faithful Parrot Heads!) team of “Card Sharks” at each of the stops. Despite a back wheel coming off of one of the bikes (many thanks to good Samaritan Ronnie from Hwy. 58 Bikes for his help in getting a Parrot Head back underway), some parts and pieces falling off here and there, and the rumor of an untimely demise of a squirrel (??) we all made it back in time, and $600 in cash prizes donated by the Parrot Head Club and The Emerald Club were handed out for the winning hands. Time to collect on door prizes and raffle winnings, then out came the tasty free chow to feed the starving masses, with Big Drink on stage cranking out great tunes. A fabulous fun filled day for everyone, and all in all with raffles, registrations, and donations we were able to raise $3632 for donation to a great charity, Hope for the Warriors. THANKS SO MUCH to all the Parrot Heads who worked so hard putting this event together, our generous sponsors and stops, raffle donors, Mike, Pat, Matt, Erin and the rest of the Emerald Club crew, and of course all the fun folks who came out to Party With A Purpose.
It’s hard to top this event, but we do have a few more tricks up our sleeves with more fun events throughout the year including our 10th Parrot Head Club Anniversary weekend coming up in August complete with a PHlocking and then our annual Sandbar/Island Party out on Pelican Island with Scearce & Ketner and Barefoot Wade chilling with us on island time. Watch the Coastal Salt for details. Hard to believe we’ve been partying with a purpose for 10 years, growing from a dozen PHolks to over 250; what a long strange trip it’s been… And while you’re contemplating that and enjoying your summer, don’t forget to send best wishes to those good ol’ guys & ladies who are growing older but not up as they celebrate their birthdays in June. They be: Lovely Lois Harmande, Bettina Candelore, Gary Odie, Jack “Chef” Synan, Russ “Pelican Island” Davis, Brad Bills, Mickey Henrickson, Ann Stewart, David Harlowe, Lee Summer Williams, Randy Penny, Gigi Linder, Pam “Turtles” Minnick, Terry Passey, Gary Pontenberg, “Cap’n” Bill Gerdsen, Lisa Jo Brattich, Patricia Voutsinas, Barbara Meyer, and Kim West.
Stay safe out there, watch out for and help others, enjoy this special Isle, and if you’re having a cold one, make sure you have a designated driver. See y’all around Town! Ken