The Big Sweep

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 08 October 2014 04:00

The “Big Sweep” as it is known, started 18 years ago with the Parrot Heads of North Carolina out of Raleigh. Several members of that club lived on Pleasure Island and the surrounding area.
The Parrot Heads called it “Beach Sweep” at that time. New Hanover County and the Town of Carolina Beach were not involved in any organized beach cleanup on Pleasure Island. The Parrot Heads of North Carolina started out by just cleaning the north end beach now known as Freeman Park. The following year, the members of the Raleigh Parrot Head Club that lived on and around Pleasure Island formed a new parrot head club calling it the Pleasure Island Parrot Heads. That was 17 years ago.
The Pleasure Island Parrot Heads continued to clean the beach every year. Carolina Beach Mayor, then Bill Clark, a member of the Pleasure Island Parrot Heads, was instrumental in getting the Town of Carolina Beach involved with “Beach Sweep,” and a few years later New Hanover County became involved calling it the “Big Sweep” for countywide beach and parks clean up. However, for the Parrot Heads, it is still known as “Beach Sweep” to this day.
Pleasure Island Parrot Heads are the people who place the entrance and exit markers out on the beach, drives the volunteers to and from the beach, gets the donations of doughnuts, pizza, and coffee to eat and drink, while listening to Jolly Mon Da DJ who is our past president, Bill Davis.    
The Pleasure Island Parrot Heads better known as PIPH, is a nonprofit organization that raises money for environmental and community issues and causes. PIPH does three major fundraisers a year, spring, summer, and fall. In the spring, PIPH sends a team to Ashley High School for “Relay for Life,” and raises $1,500 for that cause.
In the summer PIPH does ‘Christmas in July” and raises another $1,500 for toys for the kids in the Betty H. Cameron Woman’s and Children’s Hospital and to restock the playroom with toys and games. In the fall, it is the “Beach Sweep Fundraiser After Party” held at the Lazy Pirate. This year we raised another  $1,500 for charities and community causes that the funds will be dispersed starting in January 2015.
“Party With A Purpose” is the motto of all the Parrot Head Clubs, and as you can see, when we get together and party, it always has a purpose. PIPH also holds a few small fundraisers throughout the year, and on average, the Pleasure Island Parrot Heads donates $5,500 annually into our community and worthy causes. Not too bad for a little club of Jimmy Buffett fans that started life on Pleasure Island with a little community project called “Beach Sweep.” 
Rich Walsh – VP of PIPH
Carolina Beach


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