State of the Phlock - 2013

Welcome to 2013 and our annual State of the Phlock report …

After all the hoopla surrounding the 20th Anniversary of Meeting of the Minds in 2011, the year 2012 may be remembered by some as an “ordinary” year around the ParrotHead Nation … As if anyone could ever describe what Parrot Head Clubs do as being “ordinary!”

Is it considered “ordinary” for a group of common folks like us to raise $3.46 million for various charitable causes as we did in 2012? I think not! Would anyone consider it “ordinary” for a group of common folks like us to donate, out of our personal time, almost 200,000 hours to charitable, civic and environmental projects in our local communities as Parrot Head Clubs did in 2012? Doubtful!!

As always, we worked hard and we played hard … We had a lot of fun, we cavorted with old friends, we made new friends and, in what is becoming a distressingly common occurrence, we bid farewell to far too many beloved friends. What we most assuredly did, in a big way, was make a difference … a difference in our communities, a difference in our environment and a difference in the lives of our fellow man as we continue to grow and prosper.

The 21st edition of Meeting of the Minds was, in a word, “ordinary” … If one considers four full days of music from Trop-Rock legends like Jim Morris, Sunny Jim & Jerry Diaz thru Howard Livingston, Tall Paul and Jimmy & the Parrots, to
name just a few, as “ordinary.” On top of all this, the week culminated in an exclusive concert by none other than superstar singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen & his full band. A line-up like this don’t spell “ordinary” in my book!

Lest one think we did nothing but party in Key West, a huge group of “ordinary” PHiP Club Members hauled themselves out of bed on Saturday morning to participate in the Zonta Walk with Team ParrotHead raising over $14,000, once again cementing our status as the single largest supporter of the Zonta Club of Key West. Parrot Heads also contributed to Wesley House Family Services, the KW Police Athletic League, Samuel’s House and the Florida Keys SPCA, among others, to the tune of more than $20,000 while simultaneously donating 30 enormous cartons of toys and school supplies to the Salvation Army for their annual holiday toy drive.

In a truly “ordinary” humanitarian effort, Parrot Heads rolled up their sleeves to donate 155 pints of blood to the Community Blood Center of South Florida, in what has become the local blood bank’s largest blood drive of the year.

“Ordinary” Parrot Heads also participated in a raffle with our dear friends at Margaritaville Key West to raise more than $2500 for their charity of choice, the Bahama Village Music Program.

We are PROUD to report that our 2012 Alzheimer’s National Team – Team ParrotHead - raised a consolidated total of $97,285 with 49 chapters reporting. The Chicago PHC led the team, contributing $11,781 to aid in the battle against Alzheimer’s, followed closely by the Lakeshore PHC with $9,438 and the Lone Star PHC with $8,393. Again, pretty ordinary stats!

Additionally, the PHiP scholarship program again awarded scholarships to 3 qualified & worthy candidates after evaluating close to 100 applicants.

In what has become the norm, the ParrotHead Nation continued to grow and prosper as we welcomed a total of eight new chapters to our ranks, ending the year with 239 Clubs in the United States, Canada and Australia. Our total membership continued to hold steady with more than 28,000 dedicated, fun-loving Parrot Heads amongst the ranks. Again, it's apparent that the ParrotHead Nation is not only alive and well, but continues to thrive.

In the “ordinary” year of 2012, Parrot Head Clubs collectively raised & donated $3.5 million to charitable organizations and, equally significant, Parrot Heads carried on the tradition of volunteerism as 2012 saw chapters worldwide donate approximately 193,000 man-hours to philanthropic and environmental activities. In the eleven year period 2002 – 2012, Parrot Head Clubs have collectively contributed more than $29.8 million and 3.1 million man-hours to aid our communities, our environment and our fellow man!

In addition, so many of the acts of kindness performed by Parrot Heads in the “ordinary” course of being Parrot Heads often cannot be measured in quantitative terms, yet are so vital to the recipients, be they communal, environmental or humanitarian in scope.

Never forget, Parrot Heads … There is absolutely nothing “ordinary” about you or the good deeds you perform. Indeed, you are all extraordinary people - truly “Angels in Tropical Shirts,” and you should be very proud of yourselves and your accomplishments.

To paraphrase the words of Edward M. Kennedy: “Parrot Heads do not need, nor do they seek the limelight. Parrot Heads need not be idealized or enlarged in life or in death beyond what they are – simply good and decent citizens who see wrong and try to right it, see suffering and try to ease it, see a need and try to fill it.” That is who we are and that is what we do ... and we always have fun doing it.

Spring is here, summer is nigh and the concert season is upon us ... Time to do what we do best: Have fun and "Party with a Purpose!"

Till next time, may all your dreams be tropical!