Number of Participants: 62
Hours Donated: 20
Value of Time Served: $10,478
Event Type: Health & Medicine
School: Walt Whitman High School
Date: November 1, 2023
Walt Whitman High School
West Hills Road, Huntington Station
The Girls Leaders Organization (GLO) at Walt Whitman High School Takes Unique Approach to Fundraising
If you wake up to discover pink flamingos adorning your front lawn, it’s a clear sign that the girls of GLO have paid you a visit. It’s also an opportunity to support an important cause—breast cancer research. Each October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, members of Walt Whitman High School’s Girls Leaders Organization (GLO) eagerly embrace this distinctive method of raising funds for breast cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
All the proceeds generated from this whimsical “flocking” activity are donated to Stand Up for Suzanne, a local charity inspired by the remarkable journey of Huntington mom Suzanne Sokolowski-Shea, who battled Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer until 2013 and urged her friends to continue supporting breast cancer research.
For seven consecutive nights, teams of two girls venture across South Huntington with flocks of lawn flamingos. Each team discreetly places a group of six to ten flamingos on the front lawn of someone anonymously nominated. Accompanying the flamingos is a sign that reads “Congratulations, you’ve been flocked!” directing recipients to the Stand Up for Suzanne website for further details. While there’s no obligation to donate if you’re “flocked,” many choose to contribute, and they can then anonymously nominate the next recipient. Later that night, the girls relocate all the flamingo flocks to the newly nominated lawns, resulting in approximately 100 houses being “flocked” throughout the week.
Walt Whitman GLO is an academic sports honors society for junior and senior girls with an academic average of 88 or higher. Members must be involved in a varsity sport for two years or participate in Girls’ Sports Night for two years prior to their induction. GLO members actively engage in community service, and their “flocking” partnership with Stand Up for Suzanne has raised over $85,000 for Cold Spring Harbor Lab breast cancer research since 2015.
As you can imagine, the lead-up to a sudden appearance of pink flamingos on a front lawn overnight has led to some amusing stories. One homeowner loved the flock so much that she brought it indoors and placed it in her front window—she was allowed to keep the flamingos!
For more information about the “flocking” fundraiser, please visit: https://standupforsuzanne.org/flocking-fundraiser