Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

April 14, 2013

Duck Derby raises money for food bank

VALDOSTA — It’s not every day you see a flock of 10,000 ducks floating in a river, but you might expect that such a sight would occur at the Wild Adventures theme park.

Second Harvest of South Georgia food bank hosted a Duck Derby at the park Saturday morning to raise money for meals for the needy.

The charity dumped a truckload—literally—of plastic rubber duckies into the Paradise River attraction, where they “raced” the circuit to the finish line. The first 12 ducks marked with the names of entrants won prizes.

Lisa Woods won the first prize, $5,000 cash, Tracy Southers won the second prize, a $3,000 jewelry shopping spree, and Ellen Moore won the third prize, a customized golf cart. Other prizes included a year’s supply of coffee at Starbucks, a year’s supply of ice cream at Brusters, a year of car washes at

Super Suds, two season passes at Wild Adventures and a quail hunt at Lenox River Ranch.

Duck adoptions were sold at the Azalea Festival and offered since then for $5 each, and corporate ducks were also offered for $500 each to be purchased by area businesses. Seven corporate ducks were sold, and First State Bank and Trust won the first place trophy with their duck “Heloc.”

While there were 10,000 ducks in the water, 6,563 ducks were bought and marked. At $5 each, that means $32,815 in food bank donations and $36,315 with the money raised from corporate ducks. This money will buy more than 24,000 1.5-pound meals for residents in the South Georgia service area, according to Chief Marketing Officer Eliza McCall. With additional donations, the event will have drawn in “much more than that,” McCall said.

“A lot of the people who adopted ducks are really feeding kids that go to school with their kids,” McCall said. “This money will stay in our region and be spent on this service area.”

This includes people like Kimberley McDaniel, a foster parent who has fostered 48 children in her house, is currently fostering three, and expects another soon, she said. For five years, she has helped raise children “from all over” in need of a safe home.

McDaniel purchased 129 ducks, and said if she won first prize, she would build a playhouse and give the rest of the money to Second Harvest.

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