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Ducks line up for charity

September 06, 2006|By Wafiqah Basrai

Duck season starts on Friday — but don't dust off that shotgun.

On Friday the Kiwanis Club of Glendale is hosting its second annual Incredible Duck Splash fundraiser, where entrants adopt rubber ducks to participate in a race on Oct. 21. This year, the club hopes to raise $200,000 from the event.

The official opening of the "2006 Duck Season" will take place at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the fountain of the Glendale City Center Plaza on Brand Boulevard. At the event, people can adopt ducks, listen to presentations and participate in the raffle.

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"The event is held to formally launch the adoptions," organizer Victor Legerton said.

The race itself will take place at 10:30 a.m. six weeks later at "Lake Glendale," which is built that day at Verdugo Park. Each duck will be numbered, so its adoptive sponsor can keep track of it. Finalists from the races, will compete for prizes such as a car, gift certificates and cash.

One lucky participant can potentially win $1 million — if their duck finishes in 13th place, and its number corresponds to one of the 15 numbers arbitrarily chosen prior to the contest.

SCA Promotions, which provides large jackpot prizes for charity events, will pay the cash prize.

The Duck Splash fundraiser was inspired by similar contests that have been taking place throughout the country for the past 20 years, Legerton said.

Proceeds from the contest will help about 70 organizations, he said. Some of the organizations include, the Desi Geestman Foundation, Glendale Healthy Kids, Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club and The Boys and Girls Club of Burbank.

"We chose to involve a lot of groups to share the opportunity and build a bigger event and increase collaborations instead of competition between the groups," Legerton said.

Last year, the event raised nearly $50,000, but this year, the Kiwanis Club would like to quadruple the money it raises, he said.

Ducks are available for adoption for $5 each or in packages of 6 for $25. Larger packages are also available.

When adopting a duck, the sponsor has the opportunity to indicate which of the 70 organizations involved it wants to help. Each group will receive a percentage of total donations based on its level of participation.

Last year, The Desi Geestman Foundation had the most ducks adopted in its name — about 700, Legerton said.

"All the money raised goes to help children with cancer," said Sandy Doughty, executive director of the Desi Geestman Foundation said. "The contest was an additional fundraiser to help us provide emotional and financial help to the children and families."

Becky McKelzey adopted 6 ducks last year.

"The adoption of the duck was twofold, one for Kiwanis and the other for the proceeds to go to the Desi Geestman Foundation," McKelzey said. "I'm passionate for the foundation and its cause and wanted the funds to help them."

For more information or to adopt a duck, visit http://www.ducks4kids.com.

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