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Whos the lucky duck?
Derby day at Lake Lanier raises funds for clubs
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Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic holds up the winning duck Saturday during the 14th annual Rubber Duck Derby at Clarks Bridge Park in Gainesville. The grand prize was $10,000 in cash. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

For anyone wanting to see the spectacle of 16,000 yellow ducks floating their way to the shore, Clarks Bridge Park was the place to be Saturday afternoon.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County held the 14th annual Rubber Duck Derby at Lake Lanier on Saturday, and people from all over the community came out to participate in events going to a worthy cause.

The park was lined with tents and booths during Duck Fest allowing derbygoers to play games, indulge in funnel cake and listen to live music by Dave Boyd and the Shade Tree Smugglers Band.

Face painting, arts and crafts and a classic car display were among other activities.

The focus of the event was the Rubber Duck Derby Race. Ducks that were dumped from a boat in the lake raced to the finish line to win prizes for those who paid to “adopt” them. First place meant a $10,000 cash prize for the winning duck’s adoptive parent.

All proceeds from the Derby went directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County, and $900,000 has been collected from years past to help the 500 youth the organization serves on a daily basis.

Joyce Wilson, Vice President of Development and Marketing for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County, knows this Derby is unique.

“The all day event is more than just another fundraising event to benefit a worthy cause; it’s the only event of its kind in North Georgia,” she said.

Many came out to make a day of the Duck Fest activities and derby race. Marisol Mejia and her family had been at the park since noon after hearing about the event through a friend. Their favorite part of the day was, “watching the ducks,” something most had been looking forward to the entire day.

Volunteers also played a large role in helping make the day a success. Bill Kearney, who helped with day of the race duck adoptions, volunteered out of his admiration for the Boys & Girls Clubs.

“I love The Boys & Girls Clubs and support them. The day has felt very festive, and the Derby is a fun activity for the citizens of Hall County.”

He added that those who were attending the events also seemed to love what the proceeds were going to.

“People really wanted to have a duck in the race and support the club.”

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