"You can quote me on this," said Len Walters, who chairs the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows chapter of KidSport British Columbia, one of the beneficiaries of the Rotary Duck Race taking place Aug. 5 at Maple Ridge Park.
"Every buck from every duck goes back to the kids."
Ten thousand tickets, each representing a single rubber duck, are available for $10 apiece. Ticket numbers coincide with numbers on the ducks' underbellies.
The ducks will be released into Alouette River the afternoon of the event. The first few that cross the finish line will win their "owners'" prizes.
Top prize is a 2012 Jeep Wrangler 4X4, worth $25,995, again provided by Maple Ridge Chrysler.
Second prize is a luxury cruise for two aboard Holland America Lines.
Third prize is a household furniture and appliance package provided by Fuller Watson.
Fourth prize is a weekend stay in Whistler and apparel gift certificate from Maple Ridge's Mark's Work Wearhouse location.
Fifth prize is two rounds of golf for four, including a golf cart at Meadow Gardens Golf Course, and sixth prize is a 32inch flat screen TV provided by Audio Video Unlimited at Haney Sewing & Sound.
The real winners of this annual event, however, are the kids' groups that benefit from ticket sales, Walters said.
KidSport is one of them. Across B.C., KidSport has 39 chapters, each of which pay registration fees for kids who face financial barriers, so they can take part in sports.
In 2011, the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows chapter sponsored 156 kids at a value of $33,500.
Three of those kids still resonate with Walters.
Their mom died from cancer and their dad lost his job. The local KidSport stepped forward to sponsor the siblings so they could play soccer.
Walters said when he spoke on the phone with the grateful dad about sponsoring his children, it was an emotional experience.
The dad's voice quivered and he was almost in tears.
These kinds of scenarios makes adopting a duck all the more important, Walters said.
Last year, the duck race raised $70,000, and $25,000 of that was distributed to the KidSport's local chapter.
This year, seven KidSport volunteers are trying to sell 300 tickets.
KidSport can apply for the full value of its ticket sales.
Walters, who is actively selling tickets as the big race approaches, joined KidSport as a way to give back.
Looking ahead to the first Sunday in August, Walters is excited about the festivities. He took in last year's inaugural duck race and said it was a lot of fun.
"I didn't know what to expect last year, and it was a great time," he said. "It was a very family-orientated event. There was entertainment and musicians and the Lions were there, selling hot dogs."
The goal this year is to sell every ticket and raise $100,000 for kids groups in the community.
The race officially starts at 1 p.m. but duck "owners" don't have to be on hand to win.
Before and after the race, there will be entertainment including Dilly the Clown and Mrs. Click, face painters, bouncy castles, an arts and crafts station, vendors, WildPlay Maple Ridge, and live ducks.
. More online at www.mrtimes.com
DUCK RACE 2012
This year's duck race benefits"
. Kanaka Creek PAC
. Golden Ears United Soccer
. Ridge Meadows Baseball
. 1st LaityView Scouts
. Pitt Meadows Paddling Club
. Davie Jones Elementary PAC
. Ridge Canoe & Kayak Club
. Maple Ridge Fire Department Youth Academy
. Pitt Meadows Fire Department Youth Academy
. ARMS youth program
. RCMP Youth Academy
. PLEA Community Services Society (Kidstart Mentoring Program),
. Haney Neptune Aquatic Club
. Ridge Meadows Speed Skating
. Golden Ears Athletics
. Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey
. Boy Scouts
Tickets can still be purchase at:
. Maple Ridge Chrysler - 11911 West St.;
. Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows Times - #2 - 22345 North Ave.;
. Mark's Work Wearhouse - 22722 Lougheed Hwy;
. Fuller Watson - 22390 Lougheed Hwy.;
. Haney Sewing & Sound - 22381 Dewdney Trunk Rd.;
. Hagen's Travel - 11958 224th St.;
. Canadian Tire (at Customer Service) - 11969 200th St.; and
. Online at www.rotaryduckrace.ca.
Or, to purchase tickets from Walters, email email@example.com or call 778-227-0214.