Flamingo extortion strikes Sequim City Hall
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
City Hall got flamingoed Monday night at Sequim as the high school senior class extorted city government into helping them throw the annual “safe and sober” graduation party.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– Plastic flamingos that invaded the City Hall lawn overnight were discovered Tuesday, and they wouldn't leave until the city paid up.

“I guess it is kind of an extortion plot. But it's the good kind of extortion,” said Ann Holgerson, administrative assistant for the city's finance department.

The 22-flamingo stand is a fundraiser for the Sequim High School senior class.

Funds raised from those who have been “flamingoed” pay for a “safe and sober” graduation party, said Lee Lawrence, chairman of the party planning committee.

“I've been flamingoed myself,” Mayor Ken Hays said.

“I think it's a fun thing for a good cause.”

For a $25 donation, businesses and residents can have the stand of birds moved off their lawns.

An additional $10 allows the recipient to send the flamingos to the place of a “friend,” according to Ann Tjemsland, flamingo master and mother of senior class President Andrea Tjemsland.

Holgerson said the city had collected $49 as of noon Tuesday to drive the stand away but would not disclose who would receive the pink birds next.

“They should have them tonight, if the letter is right,” Holgerson said.

The flamingos were sent City Hall's way by Stacey DelaBarre of BaRay Event Services at 203 S. Fourth St., Lawrence said.

Lawrence said the party planners thus far have raised just under $4,000 of their $10,000 goal.

Funds will be used to pay for disc jockeys, food, prizes, raffles and an assortment of games and contests at the party.

This year's bash will be the night Friday, June 14, at Sequim Community Church.

The flamingos will continue to travel until mid-May.

In addition, the party committee has planned a fundraising golf tournament Memorial Day weekend at SkyRidge Golf Course, 7015 Old Olympic Highway.

For a team fee of $200, players will get 18 holes of golf, lunch and prizes.

For more on the golf tournament, phone Brian Cays at 360-460-2934.

To donate to the party, mail to 2013 Sequim Senior Graduation Party, P.O. Box 220, Carlsborg, WA 98324.



Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 23. 2013 6:16PM
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