“I’ve got your bird. Do as I say, and no one gets hurt.”
These were the chilling words whispered in my ear in the middle of our 2015 event.
A group of survivors had birdnapped our beloved Fancy the Flamingo (she’s the giant inflatable flamingo that greets our runners at the finish line).
The Flamingo Bandits demanded a $50,000 ransom, payable in the form of 1000 free mammograms.
The Pledge the Pink family rallied. Bake sales, car washes, and lemonade stands dotted the country as everyone pitched in to raise the ransom money.
A tip line and reward were set up, and a candlelight vigil extended for weeks, as supporters flocked to the abduction site.
To demonstrate our solidarity and free Fancy as quickly as possible, we created the Flocks of Love.
We sold 1058 plastic pink flamingos to Fancy-lovers people across the globe.
Each bird was adopted for $50, and we were able to pay the ransom demand, free Fancy, and fund over 1000 mammograms.
Our beautiful Flocks of Love was displayed set up on Callawassie Island during our 2016 event.
It was jaw dropping, and an intensely poignant display of honor and gratitude, knowing that each bird was adopted in dedication of a loved one.
And that bird, in turn, will help save the life of another.
Our flock also set a Guinness World Record: never before had so many garden flamingos been gathered before.
That’s the power of love. The power of flocks of love.
Fancy is under 24-hour security these days and wears GPS tracking device so she’ll never go missing again.
But we want to continue growing her flock, funding more mammograms, saving more lives.
Our goal for 2017 is to have 1250 birds adopted, which will cover 1250 mammograms.