2017-09-07 / Front Page

11th Annual Outreach East Duck Race receives wide support

BY TANYA TERRY
810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com


1,000 ducks were launched into Black Creek in Jack Abernathy Regional Park for the 11th annual Outreach East Duck Race. 
Photo provided. 1,000 ducks were launched into Black Creek in Jack Abernathy Regional Park for the 11th annual Outreach East Duck Race. Photo provided. DAVISON — The 11th annual Outreach East Duck Race put the ‘fun’ in fundraising Sept. 2!

1,000 ducks were launched into Black Creek in Jack Abernathy Regional Park at 1 p.m. that day. People purchased tickets for the race for $5 each to help further the efforts of Outreach East. The ducks had numbers on the bottom of them, and the people who purchased the ticket numbers of the ducks that crossed the finish line first won money.

“We sold out,” said Jan Lebert, director of Outreach East.

“We raised $5,000,” she said. “I haven’t contacted the winners yet. A lot of times, they donate their winnings.”

Lebert said the weather was beautiful, though the water was cold. Mike Millinkov of Drone to Earth, LLC came with a drone.

In setting up the duck race, there is a race course. Eightfoot sections of Styrofoam are used to make the course, along with stakes and strings

“The people who help with the duck race are people who love to help, but sometimes can’t help during the week,” she said. “This is their chance to volunteer for an organization. After we sell the tickets, it’s the least stressful of all our fundraisers. It’s a good time with lots of laughs.”

The first-place winner will receive $250; second place, $150; and third place, $75. Over 30 gift certificates for door prizes were given away, based on the order the ducks finished. Duck pluckers pick up the ducks and look at the number at the bottom.

A mom and kids were watching at the end of the race. They got in and helped clean up the ducks.

“I think that shows what a caring community we live in,” Lebert said.

Funds raised will be used specifically to assist community members with utility shut offs, rent evictions, prescriptions costs and miscellaneous client expenses.

“The Department of Human Services does not help with utility services over summer,” Lebert said. “So, people who need help paying for utilities have to get it from other organizations.”

Lebert said she doesn’t think the people who support the fundraiser realize what a difference the fundraiser makes to those in need in the community. However, she said these fundraisers are essential to the organization and to those in need.

“I don’t think people realize how many people are in need in our community,” Lebert said. “Our senior numbers are going up because of the rising cost of the healthcare. Their copays and deductibles are going up. So, they are often having to cut into money for food because of that. We’ve have had about a 30 percent increase in our senior clients in the last couple years. Also, sometimes people have to miss work due to car accidents or illnesses, and they come to us for help.”

Outreach East gave out over 148,000 pounds of food and helped hundreds of families with utility shut offs last year.

The annual duck race is held the Saturday of Labor Day weekend yearly.

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