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Flock of flamingos coming and going help raise funds for local mission trip to New Orleans

March 19, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Flamingos were placed in the front yard of Jack Hersey's home in Fountain Head subdivision. Trinity Lutheran Church on Randolph Avenue, is placing, removing and protecting yards with flamingos as a fundraiser to help send 14 youths and four adults from the church to help rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
By Joe Crocetta

A flock of pink flamingos isn’t a normal sight around Hagerstown, but a youth group from a local church has been placing plastic flocks of the birds on lawns as a fundraiser for a mission trip to New Orleans this summer.

For a donation of $20, people can request to have their lawn “flocked” and a second donation is needed to have them removed, kept for a significant amount of time or moved to another location.

A donation also can protect someone’s lawn from the placement.

Andy Wallace, youth director at Trinity Lutheran Church on Randolph Avenue, said the donations will help send 14 youths and four adults from the church to help rebuilding efforts in “The Big Easy,” which has been anything but since the city was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Church members also traveled to New Orleans in 2009 for a mission trip, which is hosted by Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and it drew about 33,000 people, Wallace said.

Wallace described one specific event from the 2009 trip when a New Orleans woman approached the church’s group while they were eating lunch. When she learned of their reason for coming to the city, she began to cry, saying it felt as if “the world had given up on them.”

“The people were so appreciative of what we did,” he said.

This year’s excursion will take place July 18 to 22, and Wallace said he expects closer to 40,000 people to attend.

The fundraiser will be ongoing until the group’s trip, Wallace said.

“Especially for our youth, it would be a mountaintop experience for our faith and spirituality,” Trinity Lutheran Pastor Dave Oravec said.

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