44 pink flamingos stolen from Kennewick yard

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldOctober 31, 2011 

A thief with a penchant for pink flamingos pilfered 44 birds from a Kennewick yard Saturday night.

Forty-nine flamingos were put in the yard of a home near Fourth Avenue and Joliet Avenue in Hansen Park around 10:30 p.m.

But by the time the homeowners returned from a Halloween party at 11:45 p.m., most of the birds were gone, said Jenna Boogerd, owner of Swanky Babies.

"We found legs from them in the street ... and only five birds left," said Boogerd, who has been flocking people's yards with the birds as a fundraiser. "They probably weren't even in their yard for an hour, and now they're gone."

Boogerd recently was elected as one of Tri-Cities' Finest Young Professionals by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and one of her duties is to raise $2,500 for cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.

She decided to have a little fun with the fundraising and bought 60 flamingos -- it cost $15 for a pair -- to put in people's yards.

So far, about $1,600 has been raised.

"We thought it would be fun to get the community involved," she said. "We've been flocking four people every night."

The birds came with a note that they could be removed for $20, and for $25, the flamingos would migrate to the yard of a friend or neighbor.

People even could purchase flock insurance for $15, so they wouldn't get flocked again.

"It's been a lot of fun," Boogerd said, adding that responses from people waking up to find the two-legged pink birds in their yards have been great.

Boogerd was planning to have the flamingos continue migrating around town until Saturday, but now thieves cut her plans short.

"We don't have enough birds to even flock now," she said. "It's for such a good cause that there isn't enough funding for as it is ... but they rained on our parade."

Boogerd reported the theft to Kennewick police, and has asked friends on her Swanky Babies Facebook page to keep an eye out for the flamingos.

Donations to help Boogerd reach her $2,500 goal can be made online at www.cff.org/lwc/jennaboogerd.

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