The duck race raised $9,000 for local charities, including The Sackville Rivers Association, The Sackville Boys & Girls Club and The Acadia Hall Recreation Club. (Colin Chisholm)
On May 4 the sun was shining brightly as crowds of people cheered while their rubber ducks raced down the Sackville River.
Although specific ducks did come in first, the real winners were a trio of Sackville charities: The Sackville Rivers Association, The Sackville Boys & Girls Club and The Acadia Hall Recreation Club.
In total $9,000 was raised, split three ways been the organizations.
“I wish to thank you all for donating to our group and for participating in this event, and hopefully you’ll all participate again next year,” Walter Regan, Executive Director of the SRA said before the first race. “The ducks will be released over there, and the race will be on.”
The duck race took place at the Sackville River near the Goodlife Fitness in Sackville. The rubber ducks were let go and captured 150 metres downstream by SRA staff.
“You’re allowed to follow your duck down the stream, and the more you yell, the faster the ducks will go,” Regan said.
There were two races during the afternoon, the first for youth, the second for family ducks.
The day before, corporate ducks raced, which were purchased primarily by local businesses in the area.
Following the race on Saturday, there was a Barbeque at Acadia Hall.
Regan said bringing the three charities together allowed them to pool their resources.
“We were fighting each other for donations to keep our organizations alive, so we decided ‘let’s see if we can take our contacts and memberships together to make one large fundraiser,’” he said. “I just wanted to break even, just to get the word out about these groups, to make money on top of that is just wonderful,”
Regan said the feedback received from the community has been very positive and is hoping for a bigger turnout next year
“The groups were like ‘why didn’t you call me last year,’ and I just said, ‘well we will call you next year,’” he said. “I just want to thank the people of Sackville for helping our river, our children and recreation.”
Participants could purchase ducks in a variety of ways. A family duck cost $10 each; a ‘quack pack’ was three ducks for $25. Youth ducks, for people under 12 years of age, were $2 each. Corporate ducks were $100 or three for $250.
Trevor Brown, Executive Director of the Sackville Boys & Girls Club said the duck race was about more than just raising money.
“We’re trying to get our youth to become more community-minded,” he said. “And with the Acadia Park, we thought what a perfect fit for our kids to help and give them a place that they can go and enjoy.”
“We really want to make this a major community event, there’s a lot of people out today, we’d like to triple that for next year,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of our staff involved today and if you look around, probably around one in four of the families here is a club member.”
One of the duck race winners Shelly Meider said it was a way to give back to her community and get the kids outside.
“It was fun, it was a little hairy because we could only see the one and the five and the other number was underneath the water so we couldn’t see it,”
Duck race winners
Winners of Corporate Duck Race
Sackville Business Association (1st)
Heflers Forest Products (2nd)
Green Arbor Landscape (3rd)
Winners of Family Duck Race
Shelly Meider (1st)
Carol Doucet (2nd)
Bob MacLellan (3rd)
Winners of Youth Duck Race
Meider said, noting her duck’s number was number 153. “We wanted to help out our community and thought it would be a fun day for the kids.”
“It was a lot of fun, and I’m sure seeing our duck coming across first didn’t hurt,” she said. “It’s always good to have the kids out doing this sort of thing, they’re so prone to being on their tablets and playing video games now, it’s nice to have them outside and watch them enjoy the sunshine and enjoy the day as a family.”
Herald Community Writer