With the Duck Derby around the corner, Advocates for Children’s staff is looking forward to unveiling the revamped event to the Bartow community. Featuring a new time and location in its 14th offering, the benefit is moving from May to October and shifting its location from the Riverside Day Use Area to LakePoint Sporting Community’s Terminus Wake Park.
“The public’s response this year has been fantastic,” said Erika Wyant, events and digital media coordinator for Advocates, a Cartersville-based nonprofit that assists in the prevention and treatment of child abuse. “I think that everyone’s really excited about all of the new changes that we have made and our sales definitely reflect that.
“We are halfway to our goal, which is fantastic,” she said, adding this year’s goal is to sell 20,000 ducks. “Historically, we tend to sell anywhere between [3,000] and 4,000 ducks the day of. So we’re really happy with our numbers right now. ... I think that people are going to be really excited about the new venue. It’s going to be something that’s more interactive. It’s definitely going to be something that gives people constant entertainment throughout the whole day. So we’re really blessed to have had that opportunity to work with LakePoint.”
During Advocates’ Duck Derby on Oct. 3, at least 20,000 rubber ducks will take center stage at Terminus Wake Park. While the 2 p.m. Duck Pluck — where wakeboarders will grab the ducks from the water — will be the highlight of the event, the festival will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. Along with the duck competition, the benefit also will feature food trucks, a concert, kid zone, and beer and wine sampling.
“We want to remind people that there is a food truck park that will be in the parking lot of Terminus,” said Jennifer Wiggins Matthews, Advocates’ director of marketing. “We will have Johnny [Mitchell’s Smokehouse] as our local truck and then about nine or more food trucks from other places. We would tell people to skip breakfast, so you can sample something from every truck. There’s a wide variety of different kinds of food.
“... We’re also excited about the prize being $10,000 cash,” she said, referring to the first plucked duck. “It is guaranteed that someone will win $10,000 and possibly $1 million. The Terry Reid Million Dollar Duck takes place by 13 ducks being preselected by an outside company. If the $10,000 duck is one of those 13 preselected, the person wins an additional $1 million. We would love for someone to win it. We think it’s a great addition ... [and] another reason to purchase a duck or ducks.”
Established in 1983, Advocates serves more than 3,000 area youth and families each year through its shelter and programs, such as Court Appointed Special Advocates and A Better Way Children’s Advocacy Center. Since 50 percent of the nonprofit’s annual $1.9 million budget is raised by the local community, benefits like the Duck Derby are integral to its operations.
“From a marketing perspective, every event that we help organize or benefit from we want to take the opportunity to teach people about Advocates — that Advocates is a large umbrella that operates eight programs in four locations,” Matthews said. “We have 46 employees, and we serve over 3,000 children and families every year.
“... All of our programs and services are free except for the TransParenting class and all that people pay for that is to cover the cost of the materials. So those that we serve most likely would not be able to afford paying for what we offer. [Our fundraisers are] critical for those who need our services [and] want our services to be able to receive them. And there’s no duplication of our services in town. So if we’re not offering them, then those children and families are going without them.”
While supplies last, ducks can be “adopted” at the event, by visiting https://www.duckrace.com/Cartersville, texting ‘AdvoChild’ to 243725 and at adoption sites across the community. Packages will run from $5 to $250.
For more information about Advocates, visit http://advochild.org or contact the nonprofit at 770-387-1143.
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