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‘Flocking’ friends helps raise money for beach wheelchairs

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — You could wake up to find a flock of flamingos has landed in your yard. It’s all part of an effort to raise money for people who need help getting on the sand at Carolina Beach.

Steve and Melinda Weatherford have vacationed at Carolina Beach for years. They enjoyed sailing off the coast and laying out in the sand, but Melinda’s Multiple Sclerosis made getting on the beach much more difficult.

“We have this chair to help get Melinda out,” Steve said of a special beach wheelchair. “I have carried her once, but it is it sure is a lot easier to use the rolls type chair.”

There are only two of these beach wheelchairs available for use on Carolina Beach, and the Weatherfords say they call ahead months in advance to reserve one.

Now the group Island Women, Inc., is doing something to help the disabled get on the beach.

“You should not have to be plagued with a disability, but you should be giving the ability, and especially the ability to go to the beach is just priceless,” said Lacy Ford, the Beach Bound Project Committee Head for Island Women.

The Beach Bound Project is a creative way for the group to give back to the community by providing more beach wheelchairs. It raises money through flamingo flocking.

Community members can order a flock to be put in the yards of their family and friends with a ransom note that says, “You’ve been flocked.” To get rid of them, people donate to the cause or have them “fly” to someone else’s yard.

“They are going to be migrating and traveling from Monkey Junction all the way down to Kure Beach,” Ford said.

Flamingos have already landed in some parts of New Hanover County. Joann Flowers woke to find the decorative surprise in her lawn.

“I was very, very surprised, and I had no idea where they came from,” Flowers said.

Ford and other members of Island Women, Inc., say they hope more people will also wake up to a yard full of flamingos to support their cause.

“When you visit any beach, just imagine standing at the edge and not being able to move forward,” Ford said. “It’s a worthy cause.”

There are donation drop boxes set up around Carolina Beach. To find out how you can flock a friend, go to www.islandwomen.org to.

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