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February 28, 2013

(Photo submitted)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — This past Valentine’s Day brought out the talent and determination of five local women whose goal was to make a difference while providing a tasty treat.

For the past two years, the Crazy Birds Relay for Life team has worked hard to make and sell chocolate-covered strawberries. This year, the goal was to sell close to 1,000 dozen and that goal was nearly met, with the team selling 787 dozen.

The Crazy Birds was founded and created by Chantell Kaylor in 2011, in memory of her grandmother, who lost her life to lung cancer.

While the team participates in various events, such as Relay for Life and the Rotary Club's Circle of Trees event, it is the Valentines Day event that has garnered the most interest.

After receiving 115 flats of strawberries from Clarion Fruit Company, the women set up shop inside KJ's BBQ in Rossiter and began filling as many orders as they could.

Kaylor and her fellow teammates — Kay Nelson, Bobbie Mohney, Nancy Verdill and Jackie Lewis — worked for two days to complete the many orders.

"We ended up staying up all night to dip them," said Kaylor.

During those two days, the women managed to dip and decorate 10,231 strawberries. And by the end of the second day, they were completely sold out and had to turn down at least 300 orders.

The strawberries sold for $12 per dozen, and this year’s sales almost tripled last year’s.

The strawberries were sold at the Jefferson Social Hall, with some of the orders being delivered.

For every 13th strawberry, a chocolate flamingo was added as a decoration.

The flamingo is the Crazy Birds’ signature — with every event featuring giant flamingos around town signifying the Crazy Birds’ presence.

“I refused to send the strawberries without the flamingo," said Kaylor.

This year, team members made 860 chocolate flamingos.

The event was a complete success, and the team’s Facebook page is proof of that with about 600 comments from happy customers who are hungry for more. The team already has its next event in the works, and that will be the "Crazy Birds Sweet Sixes for Mother's Day."

That fundraiser will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 11, at the Rossiter Legion. The event will also feature Basket Bingo at noon.

Instead of the usual dozen per order, the Crazy Birds will be selling six chocolate covered strawberries for $6. All proceeds will benefit Relay for Life.

Anyone wishing to place an order may do so by either emailing or visiting the team’s Facebook page: "Crazy Birds Relay for Life Team."

Orders can also be placed by calling Chantell Kaylor at 814-952-6279.

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