FLAMINGOS LAND AGAIN

September 05, 2001 11:00 pm
INNOVATIVE FUND-RAISER: Heath Sell, a La Grande High School senior class officer removes plastic flamingos from the yard of LHS Principal Doug Potter. (The Observer/DICK MASON).
INNOVATIVE FUND-RAISER: Heath Sell, a La Grande High School senior class officer removes plastic flamingos from the yard of LHS Principal Doug Potter. (The Observer/DICK MASON).

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

La Grande High School Principal Doug Potter has seen birds ranging from red-tailed hawks to Rio Grande turkeys and quail near his home north of La Grande.

Tuesday morning, Potter spotted a species that is not listed in any ornithology guides.

Twenty-five plastic pink flamingos landed in his yard. They were placed there by La Grande High Schools Flamingo Kids, senior class officers who have kicked off a colorful fund-raising drive.

Throughout the school year they will put up plastic pink flamingos in the yards of La Grande area residents. About 25 flamingos will be put up each time, all under the cover of darkness.

The students struck Potters yard just after midnight Tuesday, eight hours before the school year started at La Grande High School. Potter is beginning his first year as La Grande High School principal.

We thought it would be a cool initiation. It was a good place to start, said Heath Sell.

The students tried to be quiet, but Potter still heard.

I was real surprised, Potter said.

When the principal went outside, one of the students yelled, Im a tree, Im a tree.

Potter, who has been with the La Grande School District for six years, is familiar with the flamingo fund-raiser, which started last year.

Im impressed. It is a great fund-raiser. It is a lot of fun for everyone, said Potter, who previously served as La Grande Middle Schools principal.

Homeowners are encouraged to give a $25 donation to the senior class. Those who make a contribution can tell the students where

the flamingos are to be placed next. Potter gladly made a $25 donation.

Homeowners who do not want to see what their lawns look like in pink can purchase flamingo insurance for $10. There will be no flamingo attacks on those who are insured.

The senior class officers plan to make their flamingo attacks once a week throughout the school year.

This will be the only time we will be caught, said senior class officer Tom Selman.

The seniors who placed the pink flamingos in Potters yard were Chris Wagner, Chris Bailey, Josh Waite and Nicole Gurnsey.

Money raised from the bird plantings will be used to help fund the graduation ceremony, senior trip and senior banquet. The senior class will also use the money to do something for the school or community.

They will keep up (the senior class) tradition of giving back, said senior class adviser Pam Dodds.

The fund-raiser proved so popular during the last school year that it is being expanded. A second set of flamingos has been purchased. Anyone who donates $25 can have flamingos placed in the yard of someone of their choice.

Anyone who would like to have flamingos placed in someone elses yard or wishes to purchase flamingo insurance can call Dodds at 663-3397 or 963-2523.