Adopt A Duck; Help A Child
By: Doug Fox
When you adopt a duck in the May 5th Estes Park Duck Race you can help children in the Estes Valley in any number of way.
Several of the 65 organizations and charities that will benefit from the duck race run programs that improve the lives of children. Nancy Almond of Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success says EVICS will use its proceeds “to support our childcare scholarship program providing assistance to low income families in accessing children services.” EVICS also will use some of the money it raises for parenting classes, seminars, and the “parents as teachers” program.
8th graders in Estes Park will be selling duck adoption forms to raise money for their trip to Washington D.C. It’s a trip that’s been a tradition for Estes Park 8th graders for 20-years.
Estes Park Band Boosters will use their duck race proceeds to pay for transportation expenses, registration fees, and meals at contests and concerts in addition to repairing aging band instruments for both middle school and high school students.
The Eagle Rock School will put its money in the Graduate Higher Education Fund to help pay college expenses for graduating seniors.
Boy Scout Troop 10 will use the money it raises for camping and hiking equipment and to attend summer camp.
A trip back in time to the early days of Estes Park awaits students attending any of the four Heritage Camps at MacGregor Ranch this summer. Shannon Clark says children “experience pioneer life for a week. They learn about ranching, land stewardship, and the importance of preserving western heritage.” Duck race money will help purchase leather, which the camp attendees make into a pouch/purse, and for food, which they learn to cook from scratch over a wood burning stove.
The Center Stage School of Dance and Gymnastics provides scholarships for students with financial need so they can attend weekly dance, cheerleading, and gymnastics classes all year round. Suzanne Landkamer says, “Last year, the duck race supplied 30 students with scholarships throughout the year.”
Partners Mentoring Youth provides one-on-one mentoring programs for youngsters facing challenges in their personal, social, and academic lives. “We match screened adult volunteers with youth who need the support of a caring adult,” explains program coordinator Diana Laughlin. “It costs Partners Mentoring Youth about $1,500 to support one partnership for a year.” Some of the direct costs include outreach to referral agents, recruitment of adult mentors, background screenings, insurance, training, and monthly activities for the Partnerships. “We plan to use proceeds from the sale of duck adoptions to expand our program to include one additional Partnership in Estes Park,” says Laughlin.
The Estes Valley Restorative Justice Program will duck race money to continue fulfilling its mission of reducing crime and disorder by applying the principles of restorative justice.
“Just remember the kids when you’re trying to decide whether to adopt a duck in this year’s race,” says Kris “Big Duck” Hazelton, chair of the Noon Rotary club’s Duck Race Committee. “Some of the $20 you invest in adopting a duck can be used for these various programs helping Estes Valley youngsters. All 65 organizations participating in the duck race have adoption forms and want you to check the box beside their name so they can get $19 of that $20.” Duck adoptions also are available online at www.epduckrace.org. “The nice thing about the online purchase capability is that any family members or friends scattered across the country can also adopt a duck, and they can pay for it all with a credit card.”
The 24th annual Estes Park Duck Race begins at 1:00 p.m. outside Nicky’s Resort on Fall River Road when thousands of little rubber ducks are dropped into Fall River. They float to town and are scooped out of the river outside the Wheel Bar on Riverside Plaza. Those who adopt a duck for $20 each traditionally have had about a one-in-seven chance of winning a prize. The Rotary Club of Estes Park runs the race as a community service project. It retains only $1 out of every $20 adoption as seed money for next year’s race. The other $19 goes to the organizations selling duck adoptions.