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April 24, 2012 > What a difference a duck makes

What a difference a duck makes

By Julie Grabowski

Lake Elizabeth will be teeming with happy, yellow rubber duckies swimming to make a difference when the 18th annual Ducks 4 Bucks race returns to Fremont.
Organized and run by the Kiwanis Club of Fremont, Ducks 4 Bucks serves as a community service fundraiser, garnering necessary aid for various local charities and non-profit groups. Twenty-five organizations participated in last year's event with over 7,700 ducks taking to the water. Over $23,000 was raised with the Newark Girls Softball League knocking it out of the park as the top selling organization, receiving a check for $4,790. Tri-City Ecology Center, Bayside 4H, League of Volunteers, American Association of University Women, and California Retired Teachers 91 were among those the event benefited. Twenty-four groups are taking part this year with the current duck count close to 5,000 and organizers expecting 7,000 to 8,000 on race day.

"Splash Down" will happen at 1 p.m. when a truck dumps the ducks into the lake to begin their big swim. The Fremont Fire Department aids the racers on their way to a trap across the lake with a powerful blast from their fire hoses in a wet and wild competition to see which duck arrives first.

As always, the event has a trove of amazing prizes to bestow, thanks to generous individuals and local businesses. One victorious duckie could get you a year of professional massage at Tereo Chiropractic in Newark, a three diamond pendant necklace donated by Chris's Jewelers in Fremont, $500 in cash, a visit to the happiest place on earth with four all-day Park-Hopper passes to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, an overnight stay in Monterey at the four star Monterey Marriot, automotive detailing at TGIF Body Shop, or fine dining at several Tri-Cities restaurants. And those aren't even the top prizes! The Grand Prize winner will take home $1,500 in cash, while the Great Grand Prize is your choice of a new car, valued at up to $30,000, from any dealer in the Fremont Auto Mall.

Ducks can be adopted for $5 each or take advantage of the special six-for-five discount and get a free duck with the purchase of every five. Ducks are available for purchase on the day of the event until 10 minutes before splashdown at 1 p.m. The more racers purchased means a better chance to win!

But not all of the fun takes place in the water; there will be a free family carnival with games, food, and music, as well as a performance by Taiko drummers from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

"We're providing not only a very special day for the community, but some 20 odd communities can raise money for their organizations," says event co-chair Shirley Sisk. "All of our efforts are going back into the community for a variety of projects."

After race day, when all funds raised have been determined, checks will be presented to the organizations at a special breakfast on May 15 where recipients will share how they plan to use their awarded funds.

Ducks 4 Bucks is a great time to enjoy the beautiful park setting and have some family fun while helping to support our wonderful local organizations. "Be sure to have an athlete in the water!" urges Sisk. This flock is something you won't see every day!

For more information call Shirley Sisk at (510) 793-5683 or visit

Ducks 4 Bucks
Saturday, April 28
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Lake Elizabeth
40000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
(510) 793-5683

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