It was the year 2000. We were doing what we love, celebrating life, that is - at a private launch party for Margaritaville Tequila with entertainment by Club Trini and Jimmy Buffet. It was a fantastic night, as we were serenaded front and center by the legend, Jimmy Buffet himself, for two hours straight. It wasn’t just the music or his magnetic aura that inspired us, but a message of bringing good into the world. On the drive home, we rallied to open our own Parrot Head Club chapter. Though our local area’s population was less than 15,000, we were confident that we would recruit other members of our community. In a few short months we had over a hundred members and were able to say “Here We Are”.
As our club steadily grows in numbers, our parties have also evolved to become more fabulous, delightful, plentiful and most importantly, purposeful to our many charitable causes. Some of the organizations we have been able to help with cash donations and volunteers include the local volunteer fire departments, area schools, the YMCA, the Cedar Creek Humane Society, the Cedar Creek Library, East Texas Crisis Center, local food banks and several more! We have also helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to monthly events, we host our annual Luau, Chili and BBQ Cook-off, and our Annual Poker Run. The Poker Run gets bigger and better each year and is open to the public – in 2019 we had over 1,000 participants and raised over $70,000 in one day for our charitable causes. On Sunday after the event we meet to compare notes and recap the event. There are always “Stories we Could Tell”!
In the years since we started the Club, it’s been a nonstop party, bringing positive changes to our community on a daily basis and making members “Wonder Why We Ever Go Home.” We are known as the “brightly clad folks” in our community that love to have a good time and love to help anyway we can. Our club was the proud recipient of the 2013 Golden Coconut Award! We started the club with a just few Parrot Heads and “Here We Are” 19 years later with over 500 members making us the 3rd largest club in the PHIP community and a profound sense of accomplishment. We have taken “Here We Are” to a whole new level and look forward to accomplishing even more!
Over 500 amazing people have joined us, making CCLPHC the 3rd largest chapter in the nation!
We are proud to help our community every way we can! We support organizations of all types and sizes – here are just a few below!
We live in an area where a large number of students and their families are below the poverty line and only a small percentage of the high school graduates have an opportunity to go on to college. Our Club provides seven - $1,500 scholarships every year; one to a deserving student at each of the seven area high schools in our community and we always encourage the students to find ways to give back to their school and community. We award our scholarships not based on grades or test scores but on the student’s community service and how they can choose to help other people even when they don’t have much themselves. Each year we help give the opportunity to seven dreamers with a “School Boy Heart” to fulfill their dream and go to college. You can apply online for the scholarship HERE.
Over the past 19 years, our Club has sponsored the Olympic Village at our area Special Olympics event. We provide food, drinks, games and prizes for the athletes and provide an area for the athletes to relax between events. Our members stage individual and group photographs on our pirate ship and give each athlete a souvenir picture. By providing smiles, hugs and fun for these Special Olympians we have found a way to help these folks that may be physically impaired but have huge dreams and desires. As they run their races and participate in their events, our goal is to make their “Someday I Will” today.
We started a yearly tradition of adopting families that would not have a Christmas without us. Each year we get volunteers from our Club to adopt one or more families and shop for the children, bring Christmas dinner to the families and find other ways to help. Over the last 17 years we have been able to help over 500 families have a “Christmas in the Caribbean” that they would not have been able to celebrate without some help.
A few years ago, a longtime member of our Club passed away – he was a man that lived to give
back to his community. He was a Veteran, an advocate for those with a physical handicap and
a community leader. In his honor, our Club undertook our biggest project ever. Because we
are a lake community we decided to build a handicap accessible fishing pier with accessible
parking dedicated to our Military Service Members and our Veterans. This project involved
every member of the Club in one way or another and we are proud to have completed and
dedicated this project in April of 2013 at a cost of over $80,000. Our combined Club efforts
raised over $50,000 in cash and an additional $30,000 in material and labor was donated from
various suppliers and contractors. This project involved hundreds of man hours from our
members and now the pier is open and being used 24 hours a day by the entire community,
especially those with a disability, Military Members and Veterans. We have been able to
provide our “One Particular Harbour” to hundreds of people in our community that want to
fish, relax, watch a sunset or just enjoy the lake.
Oehlers Landing was a project three years in the making. We made the decision that we would like to build a handicap accessible fishing pier that could be used 24 hours a day by community members and dedicate it to a member that passed - Eddie Oehler. We decided to do this project in his name and dedicate to our military men and women and veterans In his honor.
After three years of fundraising, lining up members to complete the job, and get approvals and permits we completed the fundraising and built the fishing pier in four months. This project could not have happened without our amazing members who donated time and money and three special members that donated their companies time to build this. Special thanks to Martin Marine Construction, Tracy Mitchell Custom Homes, Texas Ability.