Welcome<br>Coconut Castaways!

Here is How We Enjoy Serving Community Roles With Caribbean Souls

2015 Volunteer/Community Service Activities

Des Moines Marathon

Komen Iowa Race for the Cure

Maddy Cunningham's Classic Volleyball Tournament

Urbandale Friday Fest

MS Moments Bags Tournament

Des Moines Arts Festival

KOA Care Camp Fundraiser Walk - Meet Me in the Keys 2014

Y.E.S.S. Duck Derby

Y.E.S.S. Beach Party

2014 Volunteer/Community Service Activities

Holiday Service Project - Helping Kids from Lifeline with Christmas Presents

Des Moines Marathon Water Station Hosts

Race for the Cure Water Stations Hosts

Meals From the Heartland

Maddy Cunningham's Classic Volleyball Tournament

Amanda the Panda - PandaBar Ride

Urbandale Friday Fest

KOA Care Camp Fundraiser Walk - Meet Me in the Keys 2014

Y.E.S.S. Duck Derby

Y.E.S.S. Beach Party

Beat Cancer Today Gold Gala

2013 Volunteer/Community Service Activities

Amanda the Panda Holiday Cheer Boxes - Holiday Service Project

Komen Iowa - Race for the Cure Water Station

Des Moines Marathon Water Station

Meals From the Heartland

Maddy Cunningham's Classic Volleyball Tournament

Urbandale Friday Fest

MS 150 Bike Ride

KOA Care Camp Walk - Meet Me in the Keys 2013

Des Moines CureSearch Walk

The Coconut Castaways were proud to provide a few volunteers for the annual Des Moines CureSearch Walk on May 18, 2013.  We helped with the set up by blowing up balloons, setting up tables and chairs, and then checked in the walk participants. This is a very special event where children are remembered who have been lost to cancer and also children are honored for being cancer survivors.  Funds were raised to help with children's cancer research.

Amanda the Panda Colors of Hope Festival & 5k

This was the first time the Castaways volunteerd at this Amanda the Panda event on Saturday, May 11.  We helped to set up for the event on a VERY windy day!  In fact, the event was cut short due to wind and cooler weather.  But the Coconut Castaways stuck around to help pack everything up and return items to the Amanda the Panda center.  It was our pleasure to help!

Y.E.S.S. Duck Derby

On Saturday, May 4, several Coconut Castaways volunteered for the annual Y.E.S.S. Duck Derby!  This was our 6th year as volunteers!  We've been with the Duck Derby since the beginning!  Our volunteers helped to sell the duck adoptions the day of the event at Jordan Creek Town Center.  We also sold a lot of duck merchandise!  It was a COLD day, but we hope everyone was warmed by the record amount of ducks that were adopted.  And the Youth Emergency Services & Shelter received much needed funds to help kids in need.

Y.E.S.S. Beach Party

On Saturday, April 13, we hosted a "Beach Party" for the kids at Y.E.S.S. with games and snacks.  We decorated the gym with our usual tropical flare and then played beachball volleyball, Aloho Hop (sack races), limbo, beach bingo, and beach crafts (coloring and stickers).  All of this fun made the kids hungry and thirsty, so we also provided snacks and drinks for refreshments.  The kids had a lot of fun and were very thankful that we came.

GiGi's Playhouse Annual Gala

On Saturday, February 23, we provided some volunteers for the GiGi's Playhouse Annual Gala.  Our volunteers helped to check in the Gala participants and helped them find their seats.  Once dinner was over, we were able to assist with the Live auction, which raised a lot of money for GiGi's Playhouse!  Thanks,Volunteers!

Beat Cancer Today "Gold Gala"

The Beat Cancer Today Gold Gala was held on Saturday, February 16.  The Coconut Castaways provided a few volunteers to help prepare for the event by loading up the goodie bags, preparing the registration packets, and helping to decorate the tables and dining area.  Once that was done, we were ready to check in the attendees for an evening of drinks, appetizers, silent auction, and dancing!  It was a great night and many funds were raised for Beat Cancer Today, Children's Cancer Connection, and The University of Iowa Dance Marathon.

2012 Volunteer/Community Service Activities

Children's Cancer Connection - Adopt-A-Family Holiday Program

Feed the Homeless - Creative Visions

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Water Station

Des Moines Marathon Water Station

Meals From the Heartland

Maddy Cunningham's Classic Volleyball Tournament

Iowa State Fair Bud Tent

Urbandale Friday Fest

Flower Power 5K

Walk to Benefit KOA Care Camp

Rocklyn Park - Adopt-A-Park Program

Derek's Dance - A Prom Do-Over to Benefit the Derek Ellerbeck Family

Walk for Water - Save the Rain

It was a great morning for the participants of the 2nd Walk for Water, a fundraiser for Save the Rain sponsored by the Timothy Yates Heggen Foundation and held on May 19, 2012.  The Coconut Castaways provided some volunteers to help with the merchandise table and provide some water for the walkers.  Money was raised to help a village in Africa provide their own safe drinking water.  Walkers collected donations and made many laps around the track at the Ankeny Middle School.  This is the second year that the Castaways have provided some volunteers.

Y.E.S.S. Duck Derby
Several Castaways helped sell duck adoptions and duck merchandise at the 5th Annual Y.E.S.S. Duck Derby.  It was a record year and ALL 38,000 ducks were adopted before the race!  This is a fundraiser for the Youth Emergency Services & Shelter and the Coconut Castaways have been helping since the beginning.  Nearly 6000 people showed up at Jordan Creek Town Center on a beautiful, sunny day to watch the ducks race!

Des Moines CureSearch Walk

Y.E.S.S. Beach Party

MDA Muscle Walk

2011 Volunteer/Community Service Activities

Christmas Projects: Adopted Two Families from Children's Cancer Connection & collected Items for Y.E.S.S.


Komen Iowa Race for the Cure


Des Moines Marathon

We have become very skilled at hosting water stations!  Especially for the Des Moines Marathon, where we have helped several years in a row now.  Several Coconut Castaways got up early to head to Water Works Park on Sunday, October 16 to set up the water and gatorade station so that a few thousand marathoners and half marathoners could stay hydrated.  This is a very important part of the race and the athletes depend on us ... PLUS they love running by and hearing the tropical music and seeing the tropical decorations and signs!  We even hand out candy for the sugar boost that is needed so much at that point in the race!

Meals From the Heartland

Unfortunately, there remains many hungry children and families around the world, even in the United States.  That is where Meals From the Heartland Comes in .. and the Coconut Castaways were able to help with this effort on September 1, 2011.  We had a team of ten head to Hy-Vee Hall to prepare hundreds of meals in our two-hour shift that evening.   The event is family and kid-friendly and many enjoy helping out.  The Meals From the Heartland effort helped prepare over four MILLION meals over the Labor Day weekend.  We were glad we could help! 

Maddy Cunningham's Classic Volleyball Tournament

The Castaways were back for the 5th Annual Maddy Cunningham's Classic Volleyball Tournament on August 27 .. and it was another RECORD year!  There were a record number of teams participating and we raised more than $12,000 for the Children's Cancer Connection!  The silent auction was once again popular with the volleyball players, who came out to spend a warm August day supporting a great organization.  This was the 3rd year in a row that the Coconut Castaways have hosted the volleyball tournament and the 5th year we've provided volunteers to set up, sell raffle tickets, host the silent auction, and do anything we can to help the day run smoothly.  

Iowa State Fair - Bud Tent & Iowa Craft Beer Tent

Volunteering at the Iowa State Fair is always a fun time!  And this year we were able to provide volunteers for both the Bud Tent and the brand new Iowa Craft Beer Tent on Wednesday, August 17.  Ten Coconut Castaways provided their beer pouring abilities to help raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  It was a perfect night out at the fair with fantastic weather and lots of thirsty fairgoers.  Some of the Castaways even ended up on the evening newscast talking about volunteering to help out a great cause.  We look forward to helping out again next year!

OverTime MS Fundraiser & Bags Tournament

It was SUPER hot on Saturday, July 16, as the Coconut Castaways volunteered to help out at a 64-team Bags Tournament held at OverTime ... our very own Home Bar!  Our job was to have some games set up for the kids to play while their parents played in the tourney.  We turned the back patio into a fun place for kids with a duck pond game, hula hoops, ring toss, tattoos, and more!  It was hard to stay cool, but we had fun and the kids enjoyed the games AND their prizes!

Urbandale 4th of July Parade

July 4, 2011 was a perfect day for a parade!  For the first time, we decided to have an entry in the Urbandale 4th of July parade in order to spread the word about the Coconut Castaways and the fun social and community service events we do.  We purchased hundreds of leis and stapled fliers to each advertising the club, our activities, and our "Big Tropical Bash" coming up at OverTime.  During the parade we handed out the leis and our business cards to adults in the crowd.  Hopefully we will hear from some people in the crowd who want to join us!  It was a great way to spend a perfect 4th of July morning!

Urbandale Friday Fest

This year we've been able to volunteer at three different Friday Fests! The Friday Fest organizers love the Castaways, so when they had no sponsors for opening night, April 29th, we were asked to volunteer.  Of course we were ready to go!  Then, with the help of a sponsorship paid for by OverTime (and with our new Castaways/OverTime shirts!), we signed up to pour beer on May 20th, when Standing Hampton played.  However, that night was very cool and rainy, so the attendance was low.  Friday Fest organizers decided to invite us back for a THIRD time to make up for the bad weather .. this time for the music of Toaster on July 1st!  The weather was much better and we had an awesome time making sure everyone had plenty of cold beer and some of our Coconut Castaways koozies we passed out free to the thirsty crowd.  I'm sure we'll be back in 2012!

Flower Power 5K Run

A fun, new tradition for the Coconut Castaways is to dress up like the 60s/70s and participate as volunteers in the Flower Power 5K Run.  This is a fundraiser for the Des Moines Botanical Center that was held on June 25, 2011.  The money is used for children's education programs at the Botanical Center.  Five Castaways looked really "groovy" handing out water to the runners at the halfway point near the Iowa Capitol building.  Even though it started raining, we had fun & even had some tropical tunes playing to greet them!  They all enjoyed seeing us and we've been asked to come back again next year!

Walk for Water - Timothy Yates Heggen Humanitarian Foundation

The Walk for Water was a fundraiser for "Save the Rain".  This was a first-time event put on by the Timothy Yates Heggen Humanitarian Foundation on May 28, 2011 at the Ankeny High School track.  Walkers pledged donations to make several laps around the track.  The goal was to raise enough money for a village in Africa to have access to clean water.  The Castaways were asked to help at the event by being in charge of the merchandise sales and to help sell some food.  It was a cool day and even rained a little bit, but we were so glad we could help out for a wonderful cause!

Des Moines CureSearch Walk

We were able to provide a few volunteers for the Des Moines CureSearch Walk, a fundraiser for childrens' cancer research in Iowa.  We helped set up the registration and check-in areas for the event and also to help put things away when it was concluded.  Thank you, volunteers!

Hangover Classic Walk for KOA Care Camp

While in Key West for Meet Me in the Keys 2011, about 70+ Coconut Castaways participated in our Hangover Classic walk.  The walk was about half a mile from the Marriott Beachside Resort to Conch Town Liquors, where C.W. Colt then entertained the crowd for almost an hour!  Walkers got cool Hangover Classic t-shirts designed by member Laurie Kornilow!  We were able to raise $1,765 for KOA Care Camp!!  Way to go, Castaways!

Urbandale Parks & Recreation - Adopt-A-Park Program

For the last couple of years, we have participated in the Urbandale Parks & Recreation "Adopt-A-Park" Program.  The Castaways' adopted park is Rocklyn Park on 70th Street in Urbandale.  Every three weeks or so, a few members sign up to go to the park and clean up all the debris and trash that has not made its way to the trash cans.  We also check the playground equipment to see if any repairs are needed.  It's a great way to help keep our community clean!  I'm sure the people who utilize the park really appreciate it, too!  Thanks to our members who have taken the time to help with this on-going community service.

Dollars for Derek Fundraiser

Early in 2011, our Vice President, Kahuna Kory, found out that his son, Derek, was again facing a cancer battle.  Derek had been diagnosed with brain cancer a few years earlier and after treatment, the cancer was gone!  However, it was now back and a second fight was underway.  We decided to hold a donation drive to help pay for Derek's medical expenses.  We had a goal to raise $1,000 ... and we beat it!  Our final amount donated was $1,270!!  We know that Derek will beat his cancer, too!  Kory (and Derek) would like to thank you ALL for your support!

Y.E.S.S. Duck Derby

This was the FOURTH time the Castaways have helped with this fundraiser for the Youth Emergency Shelter & Services!  This year we helped the day of the event out at Jordan Creek Town Center by selling duck adoptions and lots of duck derby merchandise.  It was a bright, sunny day and a great day for the ducks to race!  There were a record number of ducks adopted .. over 31,000!!  This helped to raise a lot of money for our friends at Y.E.S.S. and we are so glad we could volunteer our time for this organization!

Y.E.S.S. Beach Party!!!

We came up with a fun idea to have a "Beach Party" for the grade school aged kids at the Youth Emergency Services & Shelter, so headed there in our tropical attire on Saturday, April 2nd.  We played volleyball with beach balls, bean bag toss, pin the monkey on the palm tree, hula hoops, and also had crafts for the kids.  They could assemble their own flower leis and also color beach scenes or do a beach-themed word search.  The crafts were very popular!  We also provided drinks and snacks for the kids during the party.  Finally, our big "finale" was a pinata shaped like a big flip flop!  Each kid got a try at hitting the flip flop once and then finally it broke open with a scramble for the prizes inside.  The kids all enjoyed getting to have a fun morning with something new to do and the Castaways' volunteers also enjoyed the time spent with the kids.  Afterward we went out for a nice lunch at the High Life Lounge!!

Central Iowa MDA Muscle Walk

For our first volunteer activity of 2011, we helped with the first ever MDA Muscle Walk at Valley West Mall on February 5th.  It was a fun event and there were mascots and plenty of walkers participating.  The Castaways helped with set up, packet assembly, checking people in, handing out shirts, and cleaning up after the walk was over.  The Central Iowa MDA was able to raise about $13,000 for a great cause!  Thanks to Cathy Fredrick for helping to organize this fun, new volunteer event!

2010 Volunteer/Community Service Activities

Adopt-A-Family for Christmas
The generosity of Coconut Castaways from all over the country has been very heartwarming! We adopted a family for FamilyChristmas and our members responded in an amazing way!! We provided the kids with clothes, boots, toys, Christmas stockings and bikes.  For the family we helped with a grocery gift card and made a payment on their heating bill (especially needed during a cold winter!).  Our family had a wonderful Christmas and will feel your warmth all winter long!Bike Shop  We'd like to also thank Rasmussen Bike Shop and the Rasmussen Bike Shop Road Racing Team, who donated funds for three bikes, bike helmets and locks for the children in our family!  Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity!

Race for the Cure Water StationRFTC 2010

The Des Moines Affiliate of the Komen for the Cure Foundation hosted the Race for the Cure on October 23, 2010.  For the third year, they invited the Coconut Castaways to host the ONLY water station during the race.  We had a tremendous group of volunteers this year, including many Castaways, friends, family members, Drake University students, a girl scout troop, and more!  What a great group!  The runners and walkers enjoyed our enthusiasm and loud tropical music to keep them going and there was plenty of water for everyone.  And we've been asked to come back in 2011.  See you there!

Des Moines Marathon Water Station

MarathonThe Castaways hosted a water station for the Des Moines Marathon for a 4th straight year.  Several volunteers showed up early to Water Works Park on a cool morning on October 17 to provide water, Gatorade, candy and encouragement to the marathoners and half-marathoners.  Thousands of cups were filled and handed out.  Our tropical theme and loud tropical music were enjoyed by the runners and volunteers alike!  Way to go Castaways!


Maddy Cunningham's Classic Volleyball Tournament

  MaddysThis was the Castaways' 4th year helping with this annual volleyball tournament, which is a fundraiser for the Children's Cancer Connection.  Along with the tournament, we had a raffle drawing with two $500 Jordan Creek giftcards as prizes and a Silent Auction with many great baskets to choose from!  Plus, LOTS of volleyball was played and winners were crowned.  The final numbers are in and we helped to raise $10,800 (!) for a great cause!  Thanks to all of our hard-working volunteers at this event! 


Flower Power 5k

Once again we set out on a rainy morning to have a water stop for this fun event.  Funds raised go to benefit programs for kids at The Botanical Center.  Unfortunately, we got rained out, but we still had fun, as you can see from the photos!  Check them out on the Photo Gallery page.

"Break the Silence" run/walk for Ovarian Cancer

On the cold, rainy morning of May 8th, the Coconut Castaways helped out for the first time at this annual event.  It was very inspiring to see "teams" supporting loved ones who are dealing with this disease. or have lost the battle.  In spite of the cold, we did our best to warm people up with Trop Rock music and lots of cheers!

YESS Duck Derby

On May 1st the Coconut Castaways participated in what has become an annual event for us - the Duck Derby!  Thousands of rubber ducks are "adopted" and they race across the pond to win fabulous prizes for the adopted families.  This is a huge fundraiser for YESS and we're always happy to do our part!

Habitat for Humanity's Rock the Block

Habitat CrewOn April 24, 2010, a crew of hard-working Castaways participated in a neighborhood clean up event for Habitat for Humanity.  Our crew was assigned a yard to clean up near Casady Elementary in Des Moines, where the homeowners requested trimming the bushes up front, cleaning out the gutters and other yard work.  The Coconut Castaways dived right in and even did some "extras" like using our muscle to bring down a large tree limb that was in the back yard.  The homeowners were very appreciative, thanking us for our hard work.  Not a bad way to spend a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning!  Check out more photos of the group hard at work.

Meals from the Heartland

Meals from the Heartland.jpg


On February 27, a group of Coconut Castaways spent part of their Saturday morning assembling and packaging meals to be sent to Haiti.  It was amazing how many volunteers have turned up to help with the relief effort.  Great work, everyone!


Cabin Fever Party benefitting The Heart Connection Children's Cancer Programs

Tuesday, February 2nd became an Oasis of tropical weather during a cold, snowy Iowa winter when the Castaways hosted a Cabin Fever Party as a benefit for The Heart Connection Children's Cancer Programs.  Several Castaways and some new friends gathered at the Ramada Tropics Resort in Des Moines at Castaways Bar & Grill's tiki bar to enjoy the warmth of the indoor water park area.  It was fun to be able to wear flip flops and tank tops for a few hours and forget about the cold outside!  Most importantly, we were able to raise $300 for the Program, which is enough to send one child to camp this summer. We hope to make our Cabin Fever Party an annual event, so plan to join us next year!

2009 Community Service Activities

2008 Community Service Activities

2007 Community Service Activities



Contact us if you need volunteers for your event!

We have helped a wide variety of organizations!


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"Serving Community Roles With Caribbean Souls"


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