A flock for a cause

Trail woman uses pink flamingos for Joints in Motion fundraising

Trail residents beware — a flock of bright pink flamingos has landed in the city.

The decorations have been spotted on lawns of residences in the city, but it’s all friendly fun for a good cause, said Sarah McAuley, mastermind behind the flocking.

She explained that people are often bombarded with bake sales or bottle drives so she looked for a fun alternative to fundraise for her Joints in Motion campaign.

“I just thought it would be something funny people could do for a birthday, graduation or baby being born or just because, as a prank to play on somebody,” she said with a laugh.

“It’s something fun to do for me and something fun to do for other people.”

Having already flocked a few houses, McAuley said people have responded to her pink friends pretty well.

“Most people just laugh and ask ‘what the heck is this for?’ and smile.”

McAuley is a part of Joints in Motion, an organization supporting the Arthritis Society, which is raising funds in search for a cure to arthritis.

According to the organizations webstite, arthritis affects over four million Canadians of all ages — McAuley included.

The 29-year-old mother of two was diagnosed with arthritis three years ago, after experiencing fatigue and unexplained pain in her lower back and neck for years before that.

McAuley said at first she was surprised by the diagnosis, as arthritis is something generally associated with the elderly, but has since come to terms with the lifelong situation.

She decided to join Joints in Motion and participate in the full marathon, held in Hawaii this December, to raise awareness about the disease.

“You just kind of have to take what you have and go with it and try to give back to whatever cause you feel is important,” she said.

While she hasn’t officially begun her training yet, or even ran the lengthy distance before, McAuley has been out running and strength training almost every day.

The active woman has had to scale back a little on her daily activities but considers herself lucky to be able to run.

But because of her arthritis she has to be careful.

“I just have to really make sure I’m not overdoing it, whereas before I might be out for a day with sore muscles now if I overdo it I might be out for a couple days with sore joints instead of muscles — I have to be more cautious about what I’m doing and when I’m doing it and healthy eating.”

She’s set a fundraising goal of $6,000 and hopes that residents will rally to her “What the Flock” campaign.

For a minimum $25 donation, the festive flamingos will be discreetly placed in the yard of the requested person the night before, so they have a wonderful surprise to wake up to in the morning. The flamingos will be removed that night to the next unsuspecting lawn.

McAuley’s donation page can be found online at www.jointsinmotion.ca. To flock a lawn with flamingos contact McAuley directly via email at sarahmcauley@hotmail.com.