The “I CAN” Award: Don Middlebrook
Club Celebrates Don's Award as part of the I Can Community Service Win!
The Blossomland Pirates Parrot Head club members (in photo shown are, front row :Jackie Pantaleo, Linda Ward, Terrie and Bob Dutkiewicz; back row: Brenda Kovarik, Paul Pantaleo and Larry Ward) are all smiles as they admire Don's award which he has sent on a "road trip" thanking those clubs that supported his efforts of giving back from his success. The club was thanked by Don Middlebrook for the contributions in support of community and acknowledged as one of the clubs whose member's efforts helped him achieve this award.
Don received the award in Key West, November 2015 annual Meeting of the Minds Parott Head convention where the annual Trop Rock Awards ceremony was held. This award went beyond the personal recognition of winning for his writing and performing as a very talented individual artist, as it represented what an artist has done in efforts of community service which ties in perfectly to what the Parrot Head nation is all about, "Party with a Purpose". Don is a member of several clubs, including being a Blossomland Pirate. In addition to his heavy travel and performing around the country, studio time to record and writing new songs for all to enjoy. In being a member, Don has jumped in to support efforts of giving back from his own success to the benefit of our communities by working with clubs on special projects raising funds for local contributions.
For the Blossomland Pirates club, this started in December 2013 when Don approached the club with a project to assist the Lakeshore High School Band & Color Guard as they needed to raise funds to cover all travel costs for students and chaprones in order for them to participate in a very special event in Normandy France. They were one of two bands from the US invited to help commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day landings (June 6, 1944) which was such an honor and thrill for the youth to travel to France. They performed and participated in various events at the cemetary's, beaches, and countryside in early June 2014.
The club was able to give over $2,000 in 2013 & 2014 to the school band fund supporting the trip as proceeds from the fundraisers held by the club. The events were in December 2013 and 2014 evenings open to the pubic at a local restaurant/bar with Don being the entertainment, performing live much of his work and favorites of the crowd from Jimmy Buffett songs as well. Additionally an auction was organized by the club of many items donated from the community and Don held throughout the night with some very special items and competitive bidding, including an item of "air" which brought in $100 as winning bid. Don graciously donated not only his time to perform, promote and support but also arranged for many very specifal items to be donated for auction including a signed basketball and other items from his beloved Michigan State, not to mention the number of his own autographed CD's he donated. The evening also included a few good laughs from his personal stories shared, such as how the lyrics of his popular song "I stole Jimmy Buffett's TV Guide" came about. Not only did the club have the opportunity to raise funds, the spirit of what it is to be a Parrot Head was promoted and encouraged to all further supporting our purpose.
Don was humble in winning this award, noting it was a partnership with clubs that provided him the avenue to give back and in honor of those partnerships, he dubbed his award to travel to each club so they could touch upon the joint success and acknowledgement of that award along with his personal thank you to all. We're proud to have Don and Laurie as members and friends - we're proud of what was achieved and look forward to even more in our future working together for the benefit of others. Cheers to all!!