Ducks race for char­ity on Sun­day

What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween a duck? The num­ber on its lit­tle yel­low ducky tummy is what, writes Richard Mays.

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

Five hun­dred num­bered rub­ber ducks have been in train­ing for the Red Cross Duck Race this Sun­day. At around 3.15pm, their han­dlers will tip the lit­tle dab­blers off the Fitzher­bert Bridge into the Manawatu River, al­low­ing them to bob down­stream to the end of the Oka­tia Steps.

There a posse of duck wran­glers will cap­ture the lit­tle yel­low ‘floa­tees’ in a floun­der net and award prizes to the win­ning own­ers.

For just five bucks a duck, any­one can take a punt on win­ning goods, vouch­ers and ser­vices from a raft of city busi­nesses who’ve climbed aboard this plucky Red Cross fundraiser.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Sonja De Lange says up to 20 city busi­nesses are spon­sor­ing the wa­ter­borne lot­tery, and that level of re­sponse has been heart­en­ing.

Now it’s up to the pub­lic to rent a duck or two to help Red Cross finance its lo­cal ser­vices, such as refugee re­set­tle­ment, Cur­tain­bank, Meals On Wheels, first-aid cour­ses and the Rise Up youth pro­gramme.

Hardie Park off Cen­ten­nial Dr at the Fitzher­bert Ave end of the bridge is where the feath­ery floaty fes­tiv­i­ties will fo­cus.

‘‘The Youth Space stage and sound sys­tem will be down by the river; we’ll have a sausage siz­zle. Peo­ple will be able to rent ducks there from 2.45pm, but can rent

A posse of duck wran­glers will cap­ture the lit­tle yel­low ‘floa­tees’ in a floun­der net and award prizes to the win­ning own­ers.

them in ad­vance from the Palmer­ston North Ser­vice Cen­tre at 245 Main St.’’

En­tries are also avail­able from the Lido and Frey­berg pools, Ruahine Kinder­gartens, and the Ran­gi­tikei St Red Cross shop.

Sonja plans six sep­a­rate agere­lated races, though the classes for kinder­garten through to uni and adult par­tic­i­pants, can be amal­ga­mated de­pend­ing on the num­ber of en­tries.

So, prac­tise a ducky face, re­hearse the duck walk, pray it won’t be good weather for ducks, and head to the river­bank this Sun­day arvo. Win­ning ticket hold­ers don’t have to be there to claim their prizes, but they’d be quackers to miss out on the fun.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/FAIRFAX NZ

A del­uge of ducks comes down around Red Cross Hu­man­i­tar­ian Ser­vices man­ager, Sonja De Lange. These cute lit­tle bath-tub crit­ters will be bob­bing their way to the fin­ish line in the big river this Sun­day.

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