uac041614001.gif It’s not too late to adopt a duck for the 4th Annual Fayetteville Duck Derby on May 3. The grand prize is a 2014 Toyota Scion XD. There will be prizes for second and third place, as well. In the end, everyone wins because the money raised goes right back into the community.

As the big day approaches, Ducky is on the move visiting local schools and businesses to spread the word about The Duck Derby.

“The Quack Attack Tour is active and in full effect,” said Brandon Price, event spokesperson. “Quacky has been to Chick-fil-A, J.W. Coone Elementary School, Mary McArthur Elementary, Long Hill Elementary and he is going to the Special Olympics. He’s been at the North Carolina welcome centers at the Virginia border and in Lumberton. Quacky is all over the place — look out for him.”

One of the things that makes this event different from other fundraisers is that it benefits so many local organizations. Fayetteville Urban Ministry hosts the event, organizes the activities and manages the duck adoptions, but there are many nonprofits that have signed up to participate and to raise money for their causes.

To participate in The Duck Derby, the public is invited to visit www.duckrace.com/fayettevilleduckderby and adopt a duck. If you want to be sure that your adoption helps a particular organization, once you click the “adopt a duck now” button, click on the “teams” tab and choose a team or teams to support.

This year, the Cumberland County Schools system is participating, which gives the community an opportunity to support a particular school or schools. Several participating schools are sponsoring fun events to get kids and families excited about The Duck Derby. “Some of the uniform schools are allowing a dress down day for students if parents buy a duck and some of the schools are holding classroom competitions,” said Price. “The class that sells the most ducks will get a Quack Attack from Ducky during lunch.

”Price sees the Cumberland County Schools’ participation as a great fit because the big day features so many kid-friendly events. “It will be all about kids this year at The Duck Derby,” said Price. “We are going to have games set up — much like a field day. There will be a lot of Zumba and a band called 45 rpm will perform. It is an all-girl band.”

There will be live entertainment, food vendors and a Kids Zone where youngsters can play and enjoy activities 04-16-14-duck-derby-pic.giffor free. Many of the nonprofit teams will be there to share information about their causes and to answer questions. The event starts at noon and ends at 3 p.m. The Corporate Duck Race is at 2 p.m. and is followed by the main event.It costs just $5 to adopt a duck. If you choose to support a team, the team will receive $1for each duck adopted under the team. At the main event all of the adopted ducks are dropped into the Cape Fear River. The first duck to cross the finish line wins and the person that adopted this duck will get the grand prize. Companies are invited to adopt ducks for the corporate race, as well.

Proceeds from this event that go to Fayetteville Urban Ministry are used to support the outreach programs at the organization. Fayetteville Urban Ministry is built around four programs: Adult Literacy Program, Emergency Assistance Program, Find-A-Friend Program, and Nehemiah Home Repairs Program. The organization serves people from all types of backgrounds. It serves a number of veterans, active military service members, single parents, grandparents, dual parent households, and the list goes on. Not everyone it serves is poor or a single parent. Many of the people Fayetteville Urban Ministry serves are in crisis, or they moved to the area due to natural disasters. Fayetteville Urban Ministry is a place people come to when they need help. The programs are designed to give a hand up not a hand out and continue to exist because people continue to support the organization and events like the Fayetteville Duck Derby. Whether it is teaching someone how to read, tutoring or mentoring a child, helping with food or clothing, or helping to make homes safer, Fayetteville Urban Ministry does it 100 percent free of charge. While the need is great and sometimes resources are scarce, the staff at Fayetteville Urban Ministry knows that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Find out more about Fayettville Urban Ministry at www.fayurbmin.org. Sign up a corporate team or purchase ducks at www.fayettevilleduckderby.com. It costs just $5 to adopt a duck and the money goes right back to the community. There is still time to schedule Quacky for a visit, too.

Photo: On May 3, thousands of ducks will race down the Cape Fear River to support local nonprofits.

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