20th Annual Duck Race raising money for Lifeline

By Ryne Turke on May 17 at 11:05am

Tomorrow afternoon Nichols Park will be filled with hundreds of ducks, but not the ones people are use to seeing.

The 20th Annual Passavant Hospital Lifeline Duck Race kicks off today with the goal of raising funds for people who can’t afford to have Lifeline on their own.

Lifeline director Jan Fellhauer says the need for Lifeline in the community was the force behind creating the Duck Race.

“Lifeline is a line for help for anyone who wants additional security and independence,” says Fellhauer

“We started it in 1984 and by 1994 we realized at the hospital there were a lot of people who needed Lifeline that couldn’t afford it, that’s when we invented the first Duck Race for lifeline.”

Proceeds from the 2012 race totaled over $30,000 and Fellhauer expects to reach that number again.

“Starting out, our first year goal was $5,000 and we have grown each year,” says Fellhauer.

“Then we took our goal to $10,000 then $20,000. As Lifeline goes on there are more subscribers that need help and need units, which are $700-$800 each. So, our goal this year is $30,000.”

Lifeline Volunteer Connie Walker explains the process of the Duck Race.

“Morgan County Underwater Search and Rescue Team sets up the boundaries in the water for the ducks so they will all go across the water,” says Walker.

“The fire department comes out and if there isn’t enough wind they get them started with their hoses so they can come into the designated areas for the different prizes.”

Prizes will be awarded for ducks finishing in the top 20, with the top duck earning $1,000.

Sixty volunteers will be selling duck tickets at Jacksonville business for $5 each.

The event begins at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday with entertainment including food and a kid’s duck toss, along with music from the community summer band at 1:00 p.m. before the race begins.