Ladies of Lejeune: 'Flock cancer'

24 Mar 2006 | Lance Cpl. Ryan M. Blaich

Stealing through the night, nine highly-trained individuals slipped into the front yards of unsuspecting families. In the early morning light, the evidence of their mission was clear, as Camp Lejeune families poured into their yards and spied … pink flamingos? Okay, so it wasn’t a covert military operation. Members of the Officers Wives Club Relay 4 Life spent hours planting pink flamingos in front yards, while collecting donations for the American Cancer Society March 23. The tradition that started many years ago by wives of generals, continues this month, raising thousands of dollars to help find a cure and build awareness for cancer.Two teams of masked women piled into mini-vans and headed out for, what seemed to be, a night of mayhem. Their mission … to “flock” someone’s yard.Armed with donation slips, “thank you” cards and more than 20 pink flamingos, teams separated and infiltrated communities of Camp Lejeune. Their goal is to generate as much money and awareness as possible for ACS, and have a good time.Placing flamingos in a yard gives the house’s owner a chance to donate to the charity and nominate someone else to get “flocked.” While part of the team placed as many pink birds in the front yard as possible, one brave soul sneaked up to the front door and taped a note stating the nature of the occurrence. The letter explained the project, how to make a donation and offered the recipient the chance to participate in the fun.“Everything stays anonymous,” stated the co-captain of the “Give Cancer the Boot” team. “That’s part of the fun.”She said this is something she started doing three years ago while her husband was deployed to Iraq and encourages other wives to do the same.“It reminds me of the old game, doorbell ditch,” a lady recalled. “It’s for a great foundation and the ladies have a lot of fun with it.”According to ACS, more than 550, 000 men and women will die in 2006. That’s more than 1,500 people a day, making cancer an unseen enemy waging a different type of war. Relay 4 Life is an organization that coordinates fun-filled events designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of the American Cancer Society, according to its website, more information on upcoming and related events contact the local Relay 4 Life website at or the Officers Wives Club team, “Give Cancer the Boot,” at