Support the upcoming QES Plumas to the Pacific trip by hosting some festive flamingos at your home or business. Photo by Roni Java

Pretty pink flamingos raise funds for QES’ Plumas to the Pacific studies

By Roni Java

Special to Plumas News

For a splashy look of spring in your yard, nothing beats a “flamboyance” of flamingos touching down courtesy of Quincy Elementary School’s (QES) sixth-grade class.

Quincy students Skylar McCarthy, the QES fundraising chairperson for her campus, and Adison Marin have undertaken the challenge of escorting the pretty, pink plastic birds around Quincy to increase awareness and donations for the popular annual “Plumas to the Pacific” (P2P) outdoor education program.


A “flamboyance” is a gathering of real feathered flamingos and the eye-catching plastic birds are part of a fundraiser that benefits Quincy “El’s” entire sixth-grade class of approximately 60 students a year.

$10,000 goal by May 1

“We are trying to raise over $10,000 by May 1 to cover the expenses of the trip, which takes place later in May,” said Skylar’s mom, Carlie McCarthy, who is volunteering with Adison’s mom Mallory Marin this year.

Together, the four ladies and many QES sixth-grade families and teachers have put in “countless hours” toward the celebrated watershed field trip that Plumas County students anticipate all through elementary school.

The “You’ve Been Flocked” project has been popular for several years as part of QES’ fundraising strategy, according to sixth-grade teacher Rachel Molsee. Acquisition costs for the flamingos are already covered; so all donations fully profit the trip.

Ready for some flamingos?

Skylar and Adison will deliver the flamingos to a welcoming yard or business frontage with instructions to keep the flock “migrating” around town.


When the flock arrives, Molsee explained, you’ll receive an envelope outlining the fundraiser’s details and an order form to help keep it going.

Supporters can either fill out the paper order form or order online:

After a few days, the flock is collected and the high-density polyethylene pals “fly” over to another local destination.

Seeing the promotion on the QES Facebook page, people have also begun reaching out to the student organizers with requests to see the flamingos “land” on someone else’s yard! That’s fine with Skylar and Adison.

“It’s worked out pretty well so far,” Carlie said. “If we don’t hear from them (the folks with the newly flocked landscape) after a few days of hosting the birds, the students remove the flock and send it on to someone else.”

P2P builds excitement and student enthusiasm for outdoor studies

All sixth-graders in Plumas County participate in the Plumas to the Pacific field trip hosted by Rob Wade, science and outdoor education coordinator. With school sites in Chester, Greenville, Portola and Quincy, each site raises field-trip funds for their own students.


“Our fundraising work has been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic precautions,” Carlie explained. “The flamingos sounded safe, fun and like a good way to get the kids involved with the efforts.”

This year’s P2P excursion may also be creatively adapted to the needs of local pandemic precautions, but students will still have a blast studying the journey of a drop of water from Plumas County to the Pacific Ocean.

Many hands make light work and profuse thanks are in order

The flamingos project team collectively wants to thank all QES teachers and families for supporting the students and their fundraising efforts.

The volunteers especially appreciate Lori Pini, administrative assistant to QES Principal Lara Hollister, for generously answering questions and collecting order forms and donations. Thank you, Lori!

Carlie McCarthy and Rachel Molsee said additional thanks are due to many local business owners for supporting the “You’ve Been Flocked” project, as well as those who have indicated they plan to participate.


“This field trip is said to be one of the most memorable experiences for our ‘mountain kids’ and we want to thank everyone, including business owners,” teacher Molsee said. “We know COVID-19 has had a negative impact on many in our area, including small business owners who are always so gracious in supporting our community. Our hope is that through collaborating with businesses, this will help to draw in more customers. It also helps support the kids — a win-win!”

Invite some cheery flamingos to a neighborhood near you

Join the fun on social media at:

Contact these sixth-grade teachers for more information:

Rachel Molsee [email protected]
Erin Mongiello [email protected]

 Or email the students and volunteers to learn about other ways you can donate and support the class:

[email protected]

Student volunteers Adison Marin, left, and Skylar McCarthy are coordinating the QES “You’ve Been Flocked” fundraiser for the sixth-grade’s watershed field trip happening in May. Photo submitted