Duck Derby Kickoff set for Thursday
by Marie Nesmith
Mar 19, 2013 | 1068 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To spur interest in its largest fundraiser, Advocates for Children is gearing up for its Duck Derby Kickoff Thursday. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the gathering at The City Loft — 72 S. Railroad St. in Cartersville — will provide supporters information on serving as duck adoption sites for the nonprofit’s 12th annual Duck Derby Festival: Ducks of the Etowah.

“We’re asking anyone interested in being a Duck Derby sales team to come and participate in this,” said Kayleigh Ladshaw, development assistant for Advocates. “It’s just kind of a little pep rally. We are giving out sales team materials. We’re selling merchandise. We’re going to show a video about Advocates for Children and what we’re about and what the Duck Derby will be helping raise money for.

“[We] just [want] to get people excited about the Duck Derby and helping our organization. ... This is something that we can’t do by ourself. It takes the entire community being involved and being committed to selling ducks for it to be a success. So we ask for everyone that is willing or can participate to come join in the fun.”

During Advocates for Children’s Duck Derby on May 18, thousands of rubber ducks will race for prizes down the Etowah River at the Riverside Day Use Area in Cartersville. In addition to supporting Advocates, adopters will be eligible for various prizes, some of which will include a 2013 Honda Fit from Honda Carland North, an iPad, two kayaks and a $1,000 shopping venture at West End Commons.

Starting Thursday, individuals will be able to adopt ducks beginning at $5 each via or at adoption sites across the community.

This year, Advocates is trying to sell 25,001 ducks and raise $85,000 through the entire Duck Derby event. Since more than 50 percent of Advocates’ annual $1.7 million budget is raised by the local community, events like the Duck Derby are integral to the nonprofit’s success. Each year, Advocates serves about 2,600 area youth through the Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter and providing services that assist in the awareness, prevention and treatment of child abuse.

“[The Duck Derby] is just so big in terms of awareness of the importance of [preventing] child abuse,” said Patty Eagar, executive director for Advocates for Children. “Child abuse has not decreased despite everybody’s best efforts. Children still [are] being abused. Children still [are] being neglected and not fed and kept in nonsafe situations.

“We need to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure that their stories are told and that they get the help that they need. And then finally, [we need] to make sure that we break the cycle as often as possible that [people] who were neglected as children as they grow up and have children of their own are adamantly determined to not continue that cycle and to be really great parents and be what their children need them to be.”

People who are planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP to Thursday’s kickoff by emailing Kaytlin Greenley at For more information about Advocates and its benefit, call 770-387-1143 or visit