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Pink Flamingos celebrate 36 years of fun and fundraising in De Pere

By Lauren Waters

DE PERE – It’s that time of year again to think pink.

The De Pere Pink Flamingos are holding the 36th annual slowpitch softball tournament/festival July 12-14 at Flamingo Field at Legion Park in De Pere.

The tradition began back in 1984 by a group of men wanting to raise $1,000 for charity.

In the past 35 years, the non-profit organization has raised $1 million, and now its trying to reach its next goal of $2 million.

Food and beverages will be sold all weekend and will include burgers, brats, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, walking tacos, ice cream, booyah (Saturday only), and much more, as well as water, soda and beer.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the weekend’s festivities will go to help various charities and youth groups in the area, said Bryan Vande Hei, one of the Pink Flamingos event coordinators.

“I was born and raised in West De Pere, and I just love giving back to my community,” said Vande Hei. “There are so many local groups and organizations that help out, and then we get to donate money back to them.”

There are 18 teams in the softball tournament, with the opening game starting at 5 p.m. Friday.

The tournament continues throughout the weekend with the championship game at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

There will be ceremonies before and after the championship game with awards given out.

Saturday’s festivities kick off with the 14th annual 5k run/walk starting at 8:30 a.m.

The 2019 Pink Flamingos Classic Parade will begin at 9 a.m. starting at De Pere High School and ending at Legion Park.

Every float in the parade will be passing out candy for the kids.

Back at Legion Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be a free inflatable playground for children to play on, as well as other activities, such as games and face painting.

At 7 p.m. Saturday there will be live music from Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns at no charge to the public.

The group prides itself on providing fun activities for the whole family and keeping the weekend’s festivities affordable.

Vande Hei said the success of the event is due to a group effort by the 40 to 50 members of the organization, as well as the continued support year after year from the community.

“It really takes a village to make this thing work,” said Vande Hei.

To learn more about the event, visit the Pink Flamingo Classic Facebook page.

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