Nearly 250 girls and 408 ducks participated in the Fourth Annual Ducky Derby at California’s Great America on Sept. 21.
To help promote the park’s newest attraction, Gold Striker, Ducky Derby was themed around the Gold Rush, giving girls the opportunity to pan for gold and ride the roller coaster before the park opened to other guests. Girl Scouts and their families were able to purchase a duck for $20 as part of the event, which helped raise funds for Girl Scout programming.
This year, Girl Scout volunteer Noreen Hussain’s husband donated $1,100 and Linda Taylor donated $1,000 to purchase the event’s grand prizes, a Surface RT and Apple iPad with retina display.
“My husband is a big supporter of girls, he has a daughter, and he really loves to support Girl Scouts so it’s a big deal for him,” said Hussain. “He really loves supporting any activity that promotes science, math and adventure for girls…[our daughter] is getting the most amazing experience.”
Last year, the ducks raced through Boomerang Bay’s wave pool, which resulted in multiple duck disqualifications and sloppy finishes. This year, the organization changed it up and had the ducks race around Castaway Creek. “Our ducks couldn’t train hard enough for the wave pool,” said Troop Leader and event organizer Clara Chin.
Just after 10:30 a.m. the ducks dove into Castaway Creek to “warm up” for the main event. Within minutes, the ducks were off and on an adventure, traveling along the route and fighting for a first place finish. As racers came around the corner and made their way toward the finish line, the girls began cheering in hopes that their voices would help push their duck to victory.
The top 21 finishers received prizes. In 21st place, and winner of a $25 gift card to Buffalo Bills Brewery and four-pack of tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, was Christina Gay and Adele Lanier, two Santa Clara-based Girl Scouts. Chole Williams, 10, with Troop 31166 in San Leandro, won the Surface RT and Girl Scouts staff member Alice Lemieux won the iPad.
A total of $5,644 was raised at the event. Visit www.girlscoutsnorcal.org for more information.