Duck Derby surpasses fundraising goals
Rubber duckies aren’t just for childrens’ bath times anymore.
On Saturday, the star of Ernie’s song on Sesame Street and more than 600 of his little friends joined Phi Sigma Pi at the Red Cedar River in the second annual Rubber Ducky Derby.
The event originally was planned for Oct. 22, but was postponed because of the MSU-Wisconsin football game.
Phi Sigma Pi was able to raise about $1,000 in profit for their national philanthropies – Help a Willing Kid Foundation, or H.A.W.K., and Teach for America. H.A.W.K. is a foundation that helps underprivileged children in multiple ways, such as providing school equipment, feeding and clothing children and helping pay for childrens’ health insurance.
Teach for America is a non-profit organization that places college graduates in low-income communities to teach pre-K-12 students.
“(Phi Sigma Pi) have been a real blessing and have really embraced our efforts,” H.A.W.K. President Ali Easley said. “It means the world to us.”
Phi Sigma Pi created the Rubber Ducky Derby last year and sold around 200 ducks. However, this year they more than tripled their total with 626 ducks sold at $3 each, surpassing their goal of 500.
The ducks were released on the bridge near Wells Hall and were picked up after crossing the finish at line at the bridge near the Main Library. The owner of the first duck to cross the finish line won a $50 gift certificate.
Fundraising Co-chair and mechanical engineering senior Jon DiClemente said he thought the increased participation came from more advertising of the event and the fraternity setting up a booth in the International Center in the weeks before the race.
DiClemente said he was pleased with the outcome but felt like they could have done a lot better.
“We did pretty well,” DiClemente said. “(But) there is still definite room for growth. We could have advertised a little more to get the message across.”
The fundraiser attracted many participants because of its laid-back atmosphere, media arts and technology senior Joe Valeen said.
“It’s a pretty funny idea,” Valeen said. “If you raise money for charity and do it in a goofy way, I think that’s going to get you a lot more (participants).”
Material science senior Kaitlin Tyler, who bought a duck for the race, said she participated in the event because it was a fun, low-commitment activity.
“It wasn’t something too difficult, only a couple hours on a Saturday,” Tyler said.
A bunch of rubber ducks in the river is something everybody can get excited about, Phi Sigma Pi fundraising Co-chair and humanities-pre-law sophomore Jamie Crist said.
“I liked how it takes us back to our childhood,” Crist said.