CAMILLUS — The “Flamingo Your Valentine” fundraiser has arrived again in Camillus, Marcellus, and Elbridge. About 40 youths from St. Joseph Church have been planting the plastic birds in a five-mile radius to fund their trip to the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in November in Indiana. For $10, the youths invite everyone to order a flamingo with a Valentine’s message. The youths plant the figurine in the lawn and tape a note to the door as they ring the bell. “People just love it, they get a really big kick out of it,” says Cindy Heath, director of youth ministry and confirmation for the parish. Expenses for the project include buying the flamingos, red garlands, and card stock. The youths start fundraising about a year in advance of their NCYC trip with efforts such as bottle redemptions, car washes, and a theme-basket sale. About $600 is required per NCYC attendee. The conference, Heath says, gives the youths a “renewed vision of who they are in their relationship with Jesus and how faith relates to them” in their daily and future life as a Catholic.

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