The President’s Blog Central Illinois Parrot Head Club – November 2015

27 Nov

As we’re finishing off the Thanksgiving leftovers and looking forward to the Christmas holiday and New Year, it seems appropriate to reflect on what I am thankful for and celebrating with regards to this club.  Here are some of the things that come to mind:


GROWTH – We began 2015 with 27 members, our current total is 46 – that’s a 70% increase in the past 11 months!  More friends, more fun, more amazing things we can do together as we grow.


TEAMWe have a dedicated board of elected officers that includes: Vice President Steve Gray (Da Veep), who can always be counted on to have my back; our hard-working Treasurer Joe Pollentier, who pays our bills, balances our checkbook, and just quietly handles all those details with a smile; and our members-at-large Bob Hotkevich and Bill Blocker, who represent the interest of the members in everything we do.  We are also blessed with an awesome group of volunteers who have critical roles;  Our Charity Director Laurel Pollentier, who has brought fresh ideas and enthusiasm to our community outreach; Our Social Chair Sheila Watson, party planner extraordinaire who also makes sure we are aware of any fun trop-rock activities; Joe Kaywood, Membership Chair – he has had to work overtime updating the email list and membership roll as we’ve grown this year; and our Webmaster Aaron Zuercher, who fixed the membership link, gave this site a fresh look, and keeps it up to date.      Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart!


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT – As a club we have done some amazing things in our community this year.  I’ll try to list them and hope I don’t leave anything out:

  • In April, our Beach Burger Blowout featuring the Jumbo Shrimp Trio raised $1230 for homeless veterans through Goodwill’s Stand Down program. This event was held in collaboration with the North Pekin AmVets and AmVets Riders.
  • In May, we helped at the beer tent (featuring the Boat Drunks!) for the Washington Cherry Festival and we had a blast with our Pirate Ship themed float in the Louie Louie Parade as we raised $266 for St. Jude.
  • On July 11, our 4th annual Leather & Leis River Run & Party raised a record total of $3500 for Illinois CancerCare Foundation.
  • On July 14, an enthusiastic team led by Jen Zuercher hosted a fun luau party for the campers and counselors at the MDA camp in Hudson.
  • In September, we raised $335 for the Alzheimer’s Association via the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
  • In October, we dressed up and passed out candy to trick-or-treater’s at Wildlife Prairie Park’s annual Wildlife Scarey Park This is the park’s biggest event of the year, and proceeds help to sustain the park for our community.
  • In November, we sent a big stack of Christmas cards to be delivered to hospitalized service men and women, each with a personal note of thanks. Members also donated 31 $10 Kroger gift cards for distribution to local needy Senior Citizens.
  • In December, we will continue our tradition of collecting new crayons and coloring books for donation to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois.


JUST PLAIN FUNOh yes, we remembered to have a lot of PHUN this year while doing all of the above!  Just a few of the highlights of things some of our members attended/did together:

  • February highlights were Clinton County PHC’s Spring Phling in Carlisle and Northern Illinois PHC’s Island Beach Bash in Rockford.
  • In March we phlocked to Quad Cities PHC Havana Daydreamin’ event.
  • In April we danced to the Boat Drunks at the Pekin Firefighter’s annual fundraiser.
  • In May, we enjoyed a private performance by Rick Lamb of the Phin Addicts at Blocker’s house concert.
  • In June, several members went ‘down island’ for the Meet Me in the Keys event in Key West, and some of us also attended the Buffett concert in Chicago.
  • In July, we enjoyed a private performance by Roger Jokela at Gray’s house concert.
  • In August – the Buffett concert at Alpine Valley and the awesome Shake the Lake event hosted by Bruce Kudick.
  • September – met up with some St. Louis and southern Illinois phriends at the Great River Road Trip, enjoying socialization and good music at Fast Eddie’s and the Grafton Winery.
  • October – tough decision on October 3rd. We had our choice of Isle of Iowa’s Island Fever event or Thom Shepherd and Coley McCabe at the Port of Indecision in Mazon Il.
  • November – Meeting of the Minds, of course! The ultimate Parrot Head event in Key West.
  • December – we are looking forward to Quad City PHC’s Christmas party on December 5th, our own Christmas Party at Kuchie’s OTW on December 11th, and of course – the big New Year’s Eve Party at Peoria Travelodge featuring the Southern Drawl Band (just voted Trop Rock Band of the Year for the second time, and opener for Jimmy Buffett himself at Meeting of the Minds!)


Of course, none of this – the growth, the fun, the community involvement – would have been possible without all of YOU.  I can’t begin to express how much I appreciate each and every one of you.  Your enthusiasm, your energy, your commitment…. I could go on and on.  Thank you all for everything that you bring to this club!   Looking forward to an even better year in 2016!


Sue Blocker, President

Central Illinois Parrot Head Club