The Ultimate Girls Weekend

by Oct 17, 2023Events, Nonprofits, Online Exclusives, Southport Oak Island

With 5,500 pink flamingos in tow, Pledge the Pink comes to Oak Island for an event to raise money for breast-cancer support and research.

From October 19 to 22 Oak Island will be overrun with pink flamingos. Pledge the Pink, headquartered in Hilton Head, South Carolina, is being held outside its home state for the first time in its 13-year history, bringing 2,000 guests to Oak Island for a weekend of fun, food and fundraising for breast cancer.

“We are tickled pink to be here in Oak Island,” says founder and organizer Laura Morgan.

Ninety percent of the registrants with Pledge the Pink are women who come with family and friends for the long weekend. Of the 1,400 registered participants for the Oak Island event, 250 are breast cancer survivors.

“It’s the biggest girls’ weekend getaway you can imagine, the best darn weekend of your life,” Morgan says. “You are here with your besties and a common goal to eradicate breast cancer from planet. And have fun while doing it!”

Over the four-day event, participants will walk, run, crawl or waddle 33.1 miles on three gorgeous courses including two 10-mile courses and one half-marathon, receiving blingy medals as each one crosses the finish line. Food and fun follows at the afterparties.

Pledge the Pink Volunteers

“It’s games and shenanigans,” Morgan says.

Other activities included in the registration fee are a parade of decked-out golf carts on Saturday complete with trophies and bragging rights, Saturday night PJ Karaoke, Friday Flamingo Bingo with cash prizes, four beachfront parties, a live auction and a survivor lunch. Most everything happens under the big tent that has been set up in Middleton Park.

Preparations on the island began on Monday, October 16, when 40 volunteers, many from the Oak Island Senior Center, helped place 5,500 pink flamingos in Middleton Park, each one representing $100 raised to date.

“The first thing registrants do when they come to town is find the flock,” Morgan says. “It’s especially inspirational for survivors that so many people care and raise that much money for breast cancer.”

The annual fundraising goal of Pledge the Pink is $750K, which is donated to organizations, clinics and other nonprofits for breast cancer screening, treatment and research. Most of the recipients of the funds are in the Southeast, where the majority of the registrants are from. This year, however, there are registrants from 49 states, all but Hawaii, and eight countries.

Pledge the Pink has grown organically year after year without advertising and is organized from Morgan’s dining room table with 12 of her closest friends.

“I am a former runner and wanted to create my own event to bring people together to cross their first finish line,” she says. “I wanted an event that appealed to the masses and was doable for the majority of people. I ultimately created Pledge the Pink and decided to give the money to breast cancer just because it’s the right thing to do. Everyone is touched by breast cancer. We’ve all seen someone go through it. There are many resources, but they all come imbedded in red tape. We give the money to help cut through the red tape that many cancer patients go through during diagnosis and treatment.”

Pledge the Pink Flamingo Yard

Morgan says the support of the community in Oak Island has enabled Pledge the Pink to “do the cherry on top stuff we love to do.” For the first time, monarch butterflies are being sold on the website for $12 each to be mass-released at the survivor celebration on Friday. Participants will be releasing about 400 butterflies.

“It will be uplifting and very empowering. It will give you goosebumps,” Morgan says.

Morgan says the Oak Island community has been incredibly welcoming to Pledge the Pink.

“It is really insane how everyone has rallied to support us,” she says. “We hope we leave our footprint for the businesses and Town of Oak Island.”

Find Out More
Pledge the Pink
October 19 to 22
It’s not too late to get involved. Anyone interested in volunteering or participating in the events should head to the volunteer meeting at Oak Island Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on October 17 at 5:30 pm.

Photography by Brenda Torrey