“Do you think your rubber duck will be the winner” was a common question heard at Porterdale’s Yellow River Park Saturday, June 30, as folks enjoyed the Duck Derby festival hosted by Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia.
The event benefited the over 1,500 youth BGCNCG serves throughout the year.
Several attended the event to watch over 3,000-rubber ducks float along the Yellow River in a race for $10,000 at the finish line.
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia’s summer fundraiser was a first for Porterdale and the organization. But, that didn’t stop partakers from waiting in long lines to try their hand at adopting a rubber duck for the grand prize.
“The City of Porterdale was honored to partner with the Boys and Girls Club in the Duck Derby for the North Central Clubs and support raising funds for programming and facilities for youth in the region,” Josephine Kelly, Downtown Development Director, said. “As noted by Mayor Arline Chapman, in her welcome to the attendees at the derby, the health and well-being of the young people in the community is of special importance to everyone who supported and participated in the derby. Porterdale looks forward to working to build an even bigger derby in 2019.”
The festival filled the park with inflatables, yard games, face painting, a STEM activities booth, Porterdale’s law enforcement and fire department activities tent, an array of food and plenty of live entertainment.
Pam Dickerson, Georgia House Representative for Newton County, spoke about the community impact that Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia provides and her excitement around Newton County becoming the newest Club under BGCNCG.
“I’m so glad to be here today, as there is nothing more important that our children,” she shared.” “The Boys & Girls Clubs have been around for over 100 years and to have that influence here in Newton County will be such a reward for our children.”
Newton County Commissioner Nancy Shultz, who is heavily involved for Newton County Boys & Girls Club echoed Dickerson’s excitement.
“Everything we are doing here today is to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia, which will be opening a Club here in Newton County for our teens,” she said. “We have the opportunity to create spaces where youth can explore who they desire to be without distraction or negative influence. I’m excited for the Club’s future here in Newton County.”
Shultz continued by saying how thankful we are of the community collaboration between Boys & Girls Clubs and the city of Porterdale for making this event possible. “Our chief of police Jason Cripps ensured the safety of our residents and spectators, as well as providing wonderful family oriented activities for the community,” she said.
As the duck launch approached, spectators made their way to the riverbank to watch the race. A large gasp from the crowd and cheers could be heard as the ducks dropped into the Yellow River for the race of a lifetime.
Once the finish line was crossed, no one was prepared for the act of kindness that would take place from the grand prize $10,000 winner.
Walton County resident Dr. Kimberly Locklin purchased five tickets a few weeks prior to the event. When there is an event that benefits her Walton Club, Locklin says she immediately purchases tickets or donates.
“I truly didn’t know the extent of the prizes,” she shared. “I knew that the money would be circulating back into the hands of our local Club and so I always participate in giving back to provide resources for our youth here.”
Locklin received a call the following day after the event from Bob Mackey, BGCNCG CEO & President, to inform her she had just won $10,000 from Duck Derby.
Her immediate reaction – donate it all to Walton County Boys & Girls Club.
“I was of course shocked, but automatically knew that giving this money to the Club – where it’s needed most – was the right answer,” she said.
No stranger to Boys & Girls Club’s programming, Locklin had consistently donated her time over the past 8 years to the Walton Club and said she knows first hand the work the Club does is “live saving.”
Locklin shared, “If we want to improve our community, we have to increase the number of youth in our Clubs. These at risk youth get the educational support they need and more importantly they instill characters that help youth see they can be successful in life.”
“It takes a village and we just need the resources to continue raising that village, so I’m glad that I could provide that today,” Locklin said when she returned her check to Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia.
Michael Geoffroy, Newton County Boys & Girls Club advisory board chair, was over the moon with excitement at Locklin’s generous gift for the Walton Club and the “big step” Duck Derby offered the Newton County Boys & Girls Club’s future.
“It was amazing to see the community come together to help us move closer to opening the doors to our Newton Boys & Girls Club,” he said. “Duck Derby was such a success because of the belief the community has in our future here through all of our donors. This is such a major step in serving the children of Newton and changing lives together.”
For Bob Mackey this is what makes this work all worthwhile.
“Community members like Kimberly are the definition of what bright futures look like,” he said. “Those characteristics of the individuals who donate, give their time and resources to our Clubs are the same core characterizes we are instilling in the youth we serve every day. The gift she’s decided to give our youth will continue to create ripple affects in these youth’s lives for years to come.”
Locklin wasn’t the only winner from Duck Derby!
Overall, the event was a huge first-time success for BGCNCG.
“We do this work so that the youth we serve continue to have a safe place to learn, grow and prosper into productive citizens,” Claude Grizzard, Corporate Board Chair said. “I’m continually amazed by the communities we serve, who time after time give toward our cause. Without your efforts, we couldn’t continue to create great futures here in North Central Georgia.”
Mackey added, “that without great sponsors, such as presenting sponsor Canon, Amici, Donut King, The Oaks Golf Course, Alexander, Almand, & Bangs
and the City of Porterdale for hosting – this event wouldn’t have been as successful.”
“The real winners of this event are our youth!”
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia serves over 1,500 youth in North Central Georgia.
If you’d like to learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia or are interested in getting involved on a local level, visit www.bgcncg.com or call 770-267-8034.