Flamingo flocking, raising money

Jeff Guy
A yard has been "flocked" with pink flamingos, part of the Encore Dance Team's efforts to raise money for the dancers to perform in competitions.

If you see a flock of pink flamingos in someone’s yard here in Wellington, chances are it’s to help raise money for the Encore Dance team to perform in competitions early next year.

Encore dancers range in age from 5 to 18. A group from Encore, Showstarz Competition Dance Team, a group of around 18 girls, is practicing nightly to compete against other dance groups. It is unclear where they will compete, but possible locations are Oklahoma City or Kansas City, Missouri, Jennifer Worley said. Her daughter, Kira, plans to compete.

"I am very excited for this season because it has been awhile since I got to dance with a group and have an audience,” Kira said. “I really like dancing in front of lots of people."

To help cover the costs of the competition fee, the team is placing plastic flamingos in the yards of households. Usually, a friend will pay to have the flamingos placed in a resident’s yard and many times the person with the flamingo decorated yard will donate to have the flamingos migrate to the householder’s lawn for two or three days, Worley said.

People are not told in advance that their yards will be decorated. There is a sign with the flock, explaining what it’s for and who sent it. The people receiving the flocks have been fine with them, Worley said.

“Everyone’s been great,” she said.

Anyone interested in “flocking a friend” can download an entry form at https://forms.gle/u28TB1gU5i3zfBxd8 or contact Worley at jennyg3299@gmail.com or (316) 371-2210.

The girls from the dance company “flock” the yards during the evenings.

"Flocking people is nerve-wracking because you don't know if you are going to be spotted or not,” Kira said. “It is a lot of fun though."

Worley said, “This is the first year we’re doing this. In the past, we’ve moved toilets from yard to yard. We decided that was too heavy for us.”

She googled, looking for other options and came up with the pink flamingos.

The dance team has raised just under $1,000 on the flamingos, but they do other fundraisers throughout the year like selling enchiladas and raffle tickets. It will cost around $15,000 for all the girls to compete and each girl will be responsible for her portion of the fee, Worley said.

Worley is aware that with COVID-19, there is a chance the dance team will not get to compete. Last year, the girls competed in one competition in March, but all subsequent competitions had to be cancelled.

But if the competitions are cancelled, the money they raise can be used the following year, Worley said.