In spring of 2004, The American Pirate Association took their small town by storm. It was during the annual Tulip Time Kinder Parade in Holland, Michigan, that this small group of 19-21 teenagers dressed up as pirates and entered the parade lineup without a permit (oh, the humanity.) The crowd cheered them on, but it wasn't long before the police escorted them off the premises and fined them $100 apiece.
But the story doesn't end there...
Unable or unwilling to beg the money off their parents or to get jobs at McDonald's, the members of the American Pirate Association instead opted to hold a carwash fundraiser, again dressed as pirates. Members from all over the community came to show their support, many making donations without even getting their cars washed, some dressing as pirates themselves. At the end of the day, enough money was raised to pay all fines, with cash leftover to make a contribution to the Boys and Girls Club.
But we're not quite done yet...
In a true move of both wit and class, the American Pirate Association kept just enough money to make one last charitable donation, this one in the form of purchasing a brick for the new Holland Police Station - the very same precinct that had pulled them from the parade in the first place. And this brick will forever be engraved "American Pirate Association". [update: in a tragic display of poor sportsmanship, the Holland Police Department has declined to accept the donation.]
If you'd like to learn more about the American Pirate Association and their exploits with the Tulip Parade, then check out the following articles:
Pirates illegally join Kinderparade in Holland - Wood 8 TV
Holland pirates: righteous rogues - mLive.com
Letters to the Editor: Invite 'pirates' to next year's parade - Holland Sentinel
2004 Prize Package
In addition to a most lovely medal and certificate (suitable for framing,) the winner of The Flying Dutchman Award also received a generous prize package, made possible by the generous donations of several pirate vendors and artists.
The Flying Dutchman Prize Package consists of: