About 10,000 rubber ducks are expected to race at River Forks Park west of Roseburg next month in a bid to reduce violence against children.
Tickets are on sale now for the ducks that will race to win prizes at the Aug. 24 event, which is taking place for the 15th time. Organizers hope to raise $116,000 for groups including Court Appointed Special Advocates, Douglas C.A.R.E.S. and the Family Development Center. Other organizations receiving funds are the Battered Persons’ Advocacy, Safe Haven Maternity Home and Healthy Start.
At each year’s race the ducks are dumped into the river using a crane and a large garbage bin. They quickly make their way to the finish line, where the winners enter a tube collected by members of a “Duck Navy.” The 10 fastest ducks earn their purchaser’s prizes ranging from a car to an iPad.
Individual tickets are $10 and corporate sponsors can purchase 30 tickets for $350. Along with the 30 tickets, sponsors will receive a duck bucket of coupons worth $300 and recognition in The News-Review.
Since 1996, the Rotary Duck Race has raised more than $1.7 million to support child abuse awarenesss and prevention programs. Last year’s race earned $92,000 from the sale of 9,200 ducks.
Organizer and “Mama Duck” Sue Van Volkenburg said the Duck Race money stays in the community and is targeted toward programs that protect children 5 years and younger in hopes of ending abuse in families at risk.
“If they catch it at that age they have the best chance to stop that cycle,” she said.
The funds will enable the agencies to pay for more counseling to assist children and their families. Healthy Start will be able to hire a fourth staff member for home visits and the Family Development Center will be able to develop a South County satellite office. Safe Haven, a home for pregnant young women who are homeless or unsafe in their homes, will use its share to pay for upkeep, transportation to doctor’s appointments and to help pay for a house mother. Court Appointed Special Advocates will be able to train more volunteers to advocate for foster children in the court system.
One hundred percent of the money raised through ticket sales goes toward local agencies helping local children, Van Volkenburg said. All printing, prizes, advertising and labor is donated by community members.
The fastest duck will earn its sponsor a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro from Clint Newell Auto Group. Other prizes include a mattress set, dental services, $1,500 in Umpqua Community College tuition, a $1,000 gift certificate to Big O Tires, a family membership at the YMCA of Douglas County and an iPad.
• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.