By Sandra Zunino
If the idea of chillin’ out in a bar, listening to Jimmy Buffett while sipping a margarita with a group of fun-loving people appeals to you, consider joining the Eastern Bay Parrothead Club.
Eastern Bay Parrothead Club President Chuck Mounts founded the club just over two years ago. Chuck, a retired Anne Arundel County police officer belonged to a Parrothead Club in Ocean City. When he and his wife, Leanne moved to Kent Island, Chuck started a local chapter to meet people in the community.
The Eastern Bay Parrothead Club is one of more than 200 Parrot Head chapters in the United States, Canada and Australia. The Clubs provide a network of more than 25,000 like-minded parrotheads as a source of social interaction. However, Parrotheads do more than just make merry.
Members gather to raise money to benefit charities. In fact, Parrot Head Clubs collectively raised over three million dollars last year for local charities. Chuck says the Parrothead motto is Party with a Purpose.
Last February, at its 2nd Anniversary and Birthday Bash at Stevensville’s R’s Americantina, the Eastern Bay Parrothead Club raised 300 dollars, which went to the local Animal Humane Society through its Parrot Heads for Pets benefit program.
The Eastern Bay Parrothead Club also raises money for Queen Anne’s County Hospice and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “We all enjoy the water and the Bay so much,” says Chuck, “we want to do what we can to help keep it clean.”
The club started with about 20 members and is now 130 members strong. Chuck advertises events in the Update and maintains a website to grow the membership, but says nine times out of ten, people see how much fun they are having at a local establishment and join on the spot.
Joining the club is as simple as downloading a membership form and paying the $20 annual fee. Members gather at bars, hold 50/50 raffles and silent auctions and generally eat, drink and make merry. Chuck says the organization might raise as much as $200 a night for local charities.
“Some Parrothead clubs raise tens of thousands of dollars for charities,” according to Chuck. “We’re a small club so we’ve not made that much yet.” The club targets local communities to have a greater impact.
As part of a national organization, Parrothead members participate in regional events. Recently, the Eastern Bay Parrotheads gathered with chapters from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to enjoy a cruise to the Caribbean. While on the cruise, the club raised $850 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The next Eastern Bay Parriothead event is the Parrothead Summer Kickoff Party on Saturday, June 5 at Lola’s Sunset Grill in Hemmingway’s. The party starts at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Animal Humane Society.
Members are a diverse group comprised of professionals, firefighters, doctors, business people, watermen, boaters, etc. Ages range from 20-something to 60-something, but members must be at least 21 years of age.
Craving tropical atmospheres, Parrothead events are usually held as water-related establishments from Easton to Kent Island. Chuck says the club is expanding into St. Michaels as well.
To learn more about the Eastern Bay Parrotheads or join, visit www.easternbayphc.com.