KDMC Foundation’s Duck Derby will help fund hospital renovations

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 26, 2004

While chamber officials gear up for the Ole Brook Festival,King’s Daughters Medical Center Foundation members are preparingfor the arrival of a flock of rubber ducks during the 2004 DuckDerby.

The Duck Derby, now in its fourth year, will be held Saturday,Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. during the Ole Brook Festival. Interest in theevent has grown each year, and foundation officials are hoping that2004 will be the best year yet.

“Every year we’ve had the race, people seem to understand itbetter,” said King’s Daughters Foundation Director JoAnna Sprolesabout the duck adoption process and how the race works. “We’rehoping to adopt more ducks this year than last year.”

For the derby, people may “adopt” an individual duck for $6.Ducks also may be adopted in bulk.

A “quack pack” of five ducks is available for $25, a “flight” of10 ducks for $50 or a “flock” of 20 ducks for $100. All duckadoptions are tax deductible.

During the derby, adopted ducks are marked and then race towardthe finish line at the end of an 80-foot long racing slew. Prizesthis year are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place and$1,000 for third place.

This year’s derby will feature a first for being last. The lastduck to cross the finish line, known as “dilly dally duck,” will beawarded $500.

“We want to reward effort, not just speed,” Sproles said.

Proceeds from the Duck Derby will go toward foundation effortsfor hospital renovations. Last year, more than 6,200 ducks wereadopted and raised approximately $32,000 for the foundation,Sproles said.

“The money we raised last year is eagerly waiting to bepartnered with whatever we raise this year,” Sproles said.

Using other funding sources, renovation plans began with firstfloor hallways, which are about 90 percent complete. Using DuckDerby funds, the renovation is expected to continue with second andthird floor hallways and then on to second floor patient rooms.

“The foundation intends to keep that plan moving forward at asteady pace as funds become available,” Sproles said.

While Duck Central will be set up for adoptions during thefestival, foundation officials are encouraging people to go aheadand adopt their ducks in advance. Information about duck adoptionsis available by calling the foundation office at 835-9177 or835-9366.

Also, the foundation is again partnering with local groups tohelp them raise money through duck adoptions.

In the Sales Partnership Program, a participating organizationkeeps $1 for every duck sold for the derby. Last year, Sproles saidseveral groups raised hundreds of dollars to assist with their ownprojects.

“This program is a simple fund-raiser for any group since weprovide all the materials up front and keep track of sales forthem,” Sproles said. “The duck adoptions are a fun, unique item tosell and the dollars could add up pretty quickly for a motivatedgroup.”