flocked yard.jpg

A flocked yard.

Pink flamingos will take over the front lawn of Hope Chest for Breast Cancer’s retail shop in Orono this October.

Hope Chest Retail Shop will begin selling pink lawn flamingos to raise funds for Minnesota breast cancer patients on Oct. 17. The birds cost $10, and will be used for their Flock the Lawn event. On Oct. 29, from 4-6 p.m., their front lawn is turning into a home for all the flamingos until they fly south, according to Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Executive Director Jamie Flaws.

Anyone who pre-purchased a flamingo will also have the opportunity to go to the retail shop to decorate their flamingo as well as bring any family, friends or neighbors to participate. Flamingos will be sold from Oct. 17 until Give to the Max Day on Thursday, Nov. 14. Hope Chest’s goal is to sell 750 flamingos, with all proceeds going to help support Minnesota breast cancer patients.

According to Flaws, Flock the Lawn originated from previous benefactor Mary Leisses, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and passed away in June.

“Mary was a very special person...Mary was looking for a way to help other breast cancer patients. She was looking at a flamingo as her icon and began selling yard flamingos at $10 a piece, with all proceeds benefiting Hope Chest,” Flaws said.

As the sale of pink yard flamingos grew bigger and bigger, Mary began setting up all the purchased flamingos in her front yard, which drew even more attention to her fundraiser. As sales continued to grow even more, Mary and her friends decided to host a Flock the Yard party every March where people could come and decorate their own pre-purchased yard flamingo. Mary’s last fundraiser sold over 650 flamingos.

Hope Chest is looking to continue on with Mary’s pink flamingos by making her Flock the Yard event a Hope Chest annual celebration; however, they have extended the event and have included an after-party at Back Channel Brewing on Oct. 29 in order to continue to fundraise and celebrate.

“The event is to really help the community visibly celebrate and fundraise for Minnesota Breast Cancer patients,” Flaws said.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation is a resource for breast cancer patients receiving treatment in Minnesota. Since 2001, the foundation provides emergency assistance grants to support local breast cancer patients and their families.

According to Flaws, the efforts from the foundation, the revenue from the Resale Shop as well as assistance from donations, grants, event revenues all work together “to provide a solid revenue stream.” The Hope Chest Resale Shop sells donated items from evening wear to end tables seven days a week.

“It’s a store based in Orono that has access to some beautiful homes, interior designers and furnishings from families that are willing to donate. It’s a full retail experience. There is new inventory coming in every day...with all proceeds benefiting local breast cancer patients,” Flaws said.

When it comes to events, Flock the Lawn is not the only event keeping Hope Chest busy. October is breast cancer awareness month and between Orono High School and local businesses, funds are being raised almost every day.

Month long fundraising promotions include: Minnoco Pink Out of Gas Handle Promotion where two cents of every gallon of e88 gas will be donated to Hope Chest, Brighton Collectibles Rosedale Center Power of Pink will be selling pink bracelets at their store in the Rosedale Mall. Every $10 will be donated to Hope Chest for every bracelet sold. Bill’s Gun Shop and Range at locations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin will have pink targets available for purchase.

Other events throughout the month of October include: Ogilvie Raceway: Tenth Annual Topless Nationals on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. and Hit Results Fitness: St. Loud Park fitness event on Oct. 23 from 5-7 p.m.

A wine and dinner event is taking place on Oct. 24 at the University Club in St. Paul. According to Flaws, the evening will consist of a multi-course dinner as well as wine pairings that compare old world wine with new world wine. Everything from ticket sales to the raffle will go to local Hope Chest families.

Additional information about the events can be found at hopechest.com

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