(Leonna Heuring, Staff)
This summer, through the joint fundraiser between the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce and YMCA of Southeast Missouri, individuals and businesses have adopted ducks to be raced down a 15-foot slide.
Set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at the YMCA's North Field, ducks will race in about eight heats with the winning ducks advancing to the finals.
"We've had lots of people adopting ducks," said Missy Marshall, executive director of the Commerce.
Although she didn't have an exact count at press time, Marshall said hundreds and hundreds of ducks have been adopted by both individuals and businesses in the Sikeston and Miner area.
"It's been a lot of fun, and the fact we just teased the public with 'The ducks are coming' slogan and didn't really explain what it was, it has generated some curiosity and interest," Marshall said about promoting the fundraiser.
Duckapolooza ducks can be adopted for various amounts. For example, one duck can be adopted for $5 while a "quack pack," or five ducks are $20; and a "flock of ducks," or 25 ducks is $100.
Marshall noted donors don't actually own the duck; it's a temporary adoption.
"All 5,000 ducks (for the race) will arrive together," Marshall said, adding the ducks receive computer-assigned numbers, which is how the winners will be identified.
In addition to the duck race on Sept. 10, the nonprofit organizations are having a family fun day with duck-themed games including miniature golf and a cupcake walk as well as other activities, vendors, music, crafts and food. Proceeds will benefit both nonprofit organizations.
Also part of the day is the Duck 'N' Run. The 5k run with the theme of "Shake Your Tail Feathers" will begin at 8 a.m., with registration beginning at 7 a.m.
"We're in a very ducky world on Sept. 10. It is all about the ducks; hunters should stay away," Marshall joked. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun."
Local individuals and businesses are also getting into duck mode, Marshall said.
A 5-foot plastic duck sits on the roof of Food Giant's North Main Street location. Signs inside and outside of the store building promote the fundraiser, and the store window has also been painted with a duck scene.
"We support the Sikeston area, and we're getting behind this because it's a great cause we're helping out -- and the customers love it (when the employees sell a duck)," said Harlan Elfrink, manager of Food Giant's North Main Street location.
For the complete article and more stories from the Standard Democrat, click here to log on to the electronic edition.