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Dead Parrots Society Halloween Bash, Madison Rotary Club’s fun-filled fundraiser is coming up Oct. 28

MADISON – The Madison Rotary Club’s annual Dead Parrots Society Halloween Bash is a fun-filled fundraiser that benefits the organization’s multitude of community outreach programs.

The bash on Oct. 28 will welcome guests from 6 to 11 p.m. at the venue, NOW Soccer Academy at 147 Westchester Drive, Bldg. E in Madison. Driving west on Madison Boulevard, continue just west of Old Time Pottery and turn right (north) on Westchester Drive to reach NOW Soccer.

Rotary Club has set a goal of 300 guests for the adult-only fundraiser. Tickets are available from eventbrite.com, according to spokesperson Melissa Gibson.

The Madison Rotary Club is a driving force behind many city projects that strive to improve the quality of life around Madison. The club is the local chapter of the national and international Rotary Club organization that was founded in 1905 to improve communities through charitable initiatives. The Madison chapter has been active for over twenty years and in that time has endeavored several youth outreach programs and has supported numerous city improvement projects.

While the chapter has a variety of outreach areas, it has a special focus on helping local youth. The Madison Rotary Club works closely with the Madison City School District to supply school supplies and graduation regalia to underprivileged students, to support the summer lunch program, and to back the high school equivalent of the Rotary Club, Interact Clubs, at James Clemens and Bob Jones High Schools. One of the club’s larger programs for youth and veterans, as well, is their annual Thanksgiving Day basket program that provides full-fledged Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

“I’m really proud of this,” Melissa Gibson, the former president of the Rotary Club and coordinator of the Dead Parrots Society Bash, shared. “We also, for one of our community service activities that we do, we provide usually, depending on the need, thirty-five Thanksgiving Day baskets for students at Madison City Schools and also, we partner with Still Serving Veterans”.

Gibson credits the Rotary Club’s Youth Director, Fire Chief David Bailey, for the chapter’s thriving focus on uplifting the youth of Madison.
“Our youth director, Chief Bailey, he just has such a passion for youth,” Gibson said. “He just exudes all that, just loves young people and pouring into them, and he’s really taken a lot of time to meet with the schools and find out exactly where their needs are. So, this year we want to really focus a lot of our funds to go to those kids that need some extra help.”

Additionally, as part of its vocational training initiatives, the chapter partners with KTECH to sponsor a scholarship for a recent high school graduate from Madison city to enter trade school there.

“We also teach an ethics class there once a semester to their students, using the Rotary Four Way Tests and just teaching them what are good ethical ways to act once they do get that job. Sometimes that’s overlooked,” Gibson explained. “It’s just a good way to get to talk with a variety of different professionals from the community.”

The Madison Rotary Club further supports youth enrichment by contributing to hosting the yearly Rotary Youth Leadership Awards in North Alabama, a three-day youth leadership conference. The Madison chapter sponsors ten local students to attend the conference.

The Rotary Club’s fingerprints can be found on local schools and beyond as one of the key fundraisers and donors for city projects, such as, the Madison Library’s children’s garden, Home Place Park renovations, and most recently, the new community center and Kid’s Kingdom refurbishment.

“We helped build the new amphitheater in Madison. We had a $50,000 donation to help with that. We were able to give a portable ventilator to Madison Hospital during COVID. All of this that we do come from proceeds from our one annual fundraising event,” Gibson said.

Its influence can even be found beyond the confines of the United States in a Honduras community the chapter adopted and, for which, the Madison Rotary Club sends doctors to provide medical care.

The Dead Parrots Society Halloween bash is both the party and fundraiser of the year that makes all of these initiatives possible. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event benefit all the club’s charitable initiatives but this year will especially benefit its youth outreach programs. Gibson says the fundraising is especially important this year in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re really kind of just now seeing the effects of the pandemic throughout the community, and a lot of the funds that were given at the beginning of the pandemic are drying up. Then they’re gone and so, a lot of families are feeling the effect, and of course with inflation cost, gas and groceries and all of that, there’s a lot of families that are definitely struggling,” Gibson said.

This year, the fundraiser is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Originally named the Parrots of the Caribbean, the fundraiser was revamped in 2021 as a Halloween party and given a new name for the new theme, the Dead Parrots Society Bash. The night will be brought alive by a costume party, live music by local band JUICE, a dance floor, haunted house area, online auction, bar with a signature cocktail, and food trucks.

Mark your calendar for the party on Saturday, October 28. Tickets for the bash are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Visit parrots.madisonal.rotary.org for more.

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