The front of the Chopalooza Event T-shirt.

It’s been a busy time for me. I’m still flying of course, but I’m also helping to put together “Parrot Nation’s Chopalooza! The 2012 Tour.” Hmmm. I’m sure there are those of you out there thinking, “What in the hell is a “Chopalooza?”

Well, I’m here to tell you. It’s kind of weird how it came about, but this is how wonderful things are sometimes hatched out of nowhere.

A few weeks back, I got this hare-brained idea to make a pant load of Chop for the folks at Florida Parrot Rescue.

I emailed Chris Burgr who is a volunteer for FPR along with his wife Lorry. They do a lot of work for FPR including fostering some of their birds with some medical issues, so needless to say, they are both amazing. So anyway, I told Chris I wanted to drive up to their neck of the woods and grind out a load of Chop for the FPR foster families. Chris & Lorry live a couple hours north of me on the East coast of Florida.

Here’s the back…

Chris emailed me back and said the most of the FPR families are on the West coast of Florida and it might be a better idea to do this over there. He suggested I contact Bonnie’s Birds in Port Charlotte and maybe I could make it over there in their store. So Chris and Bonnie Grafton and I started throwing ideas around in a Facebook group email. Rebecca Stockslager, Bonnie’s business partner joined the discussion and one by one other people were dragged into the fray including Janet Holt Hilton, and The Directors the FPR. From this online scrum, The idea of “Chopalooza” was hatched.

We chose a date and time and started a Facebook group. Other volunteers joined the group as they were invited and we decided to put together an online auction, got some items to put in the auction, created a T-shirt design, wrangled some sponsors, and created a Chip-In account.  We then created an event page at Facebook for “Chopalooza!” inviting people to sign up and come to the event. Here is the Event Page: Parrot Nation’s Chopalooza!

And of course in the middle of all of this, Janet screwed up one of her feet and strained some tendons and I ended up with the cold from hell.  It was not pretty folks. But we all slogged on. I created a video about the event, (You can see that HERE…) aaaand the hits just kept on coming. Sherry Naselsky Leybovich got an online auction site squared away and we put up some great stuff to bid on so people who couldn’t make it to the event could still bid on the auction items. You can find that auction site here: 32Auctions.  There’s a LOT of great stuff to bid on including this “Chop Starter Kit.”

Isn’t this cool?

There’s also a ton of other stuff people have donated so by all means, please go get a gander at the stuff up for auction. We even have a Caribbean cruise available that’s worth eleven hundred buckeroos donated by Cruise Planners. We’re thrilled!

And of course we’ll have a raffle going on as well. But the cool thing is that again, even if you are unable to attend the event you can get raffle tickets and still have a chance to win some stuff. That online raffle website is HERE: EVENTBRITE.  We have some really cool stuff on the raffle as well including two dozen “Chopalooza Jars.” These are very pretty jars containing a bean mix you can cook for your birds. Aren’t they gorgeous?


Making 200 pounds of Chop is no mean feat and we had to figure out how to organize it. One of my concerns was getting enough people with food processors to process all that vegetation. Sometimes the “Chop Gods” smile down on me and yesterday they did. In the lobby of my Condo building, I found this:

Someone had moved out and left it for anyone to take. I grabbed it, ran to the nearest outlet, plugged it in and damn if it didn’t work! So now we have another food processor to use at the event. I just love it when a plan comes together. The Chop will be available for purchase so I suggest that if you are coming to the event, you start clearing out your freezers. All of the proceeds from everything, including the Chop will go to benefit Florida Parrot Rescue.

The event is Saturday, July 14th at Bonnie’s Birds in Port Charlotte, Florida and it starts at 11 a.m. The first 20 people who come to the event will be receiving a swag bag with all kind of cool stuff in it. And in one of those bags, one lucky person will find this:

 There’s a lot more that will be going on as well. Melanie Allen from Hagen will be there with some of the great Hagen products. She is brilliant and can answer any questions you might have about their products. I happen to LOVE Hagen products and so we’re thrilled that she will be there. Hagen was also cool enough to sponsor the event.

Plans are being finalized and we’re almost ready to roll out the welcome mat for everyone. I couldn’t be happier about it and I really believe that Florida Parrot Rescue is going to be the next success story as a flourishing parrot rescue. Hopefully this event will give them a hand up in developing into  an incredibly successful rescue with lots of supporters and plenty of foster families and volunteers.

So if you can, please plan on attending. Parker from BIRD TALK magazine will also be at the event and the little hellion will be available for photo-ops and will be signing “Claw-tographs.” It’s shaping up to be an incredible event. I hope you will consider coming. Parker would love to meet you!