Rubber Duckie, You’re the One!

by Kimberly Wade

If you follow anything about us you know that right now is duck season. Not real ducks, but little, bright yellow, rubber ducks. 30,000 of them to be exact. Recently, they descended upon Reno and are now completing Duckie Boot Camp as they train for the big day—when they race down the Truckee River to raise money and awareness for homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. If you haven’t seen this race before, now is the time to get involved because there is nothing, I repeat, nothing, like the sight of 30,000 rubber ducks racing through Wingfield Park surrounded by thousands of pet lovers cheering on their ducks.

Picture this. It’s 6am, the sun is rising, and rubber ducks are taking over Wingfield Park. Staff and volunteers from Nevada Humane Society have been working behind the scenes all year for a day-long festival, culminating in the big race. There is an aura of excitement, anxiety and cheer in the air. It’s the 7th annual Duck Race & Festival to benefit homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society—and those staff and volunteers are asking you to be a part of one very big day.

The Duck Race has actually become my baby, as I oversee our events. So while I love this day, it’s also stressful. Will we succeed? Will we raise enough money for the animals? Will people show up? Will the weather be good? What did we forget? Seriously, event planning, as much fun as it is, is a gigantic job. We love it, I love it, but it’s a lot. Thankfully, I have my trustworthy Michelle behind the scenes to handle a ton of duckie related tasks, guide the duckie sales teams and arrange our duckie partners. Then we have Jessica, who manages our duckie volunteers, Debbie, who keeps our duckie fundraising and finances in check, William who brings our real animals (friends of the ducks) to the event, Sharon who maintains the duckie website, and our intern, Robyn, who has literally been all over the community day after day for the last three months adopting ducks to people like you. We can’t forget Q&D Construction either, whose team is responsible for getting the ducks safely to the river, building our finish line and—wait for it—dumping them into the river from the Arlington Street bridge.

As I write this we are about two weeks away and the usual panic is setting in. That’s why our duckie team needs you. Our goal is to raise $150,000 for the animals. The grand prize for the fastest duck is a brand new, 2016 Toyota Corolla generously donated by Dick Campagni’s Carson City Toyota—plus for even more fast ducks a trip to Vegas, a year of dining adventures, a ride during the Great Reno Balloon Race and of course, a fabulous pet package. But we really hope you adopt a duck for the cause—for the lifesaving efforts we’ve made successful in Washoe County and Carson City. When you adopt a duck, yes, you could win a cool prize, and yes, we want you to be there during all of the event fun, but really, we want you to adopt a duck (or a Quack Pack or a Beak Brigade) to help us save more lives. We make the adoptions easy and then you come down to cheer on your duck(s) as they race down the Truckee—but no, winners don’t have to be present (Yup. That means even if you can’t attend the event you are still required to adopt a duck just to make me (I mean, the animals) happy (and less stressed). And I’ll be the one calling you if you win).

Seriously. #AdoptaDuckSaveaLife #GetYourDuckOn Adopt online, in person at our shelter (one in Reno, one in Carson), over the phone (775-856-2000 ext. 324), by mail or heck, I may even come to your home. That’s how much I love animals and how much I want your help. Ducks are only $5. I know you can do it. Oh! We even have Duck Tail Ale, compliments of Mellow Fellow GastroPub who is selling duckie beer to benefit us!

The Duck Race & Festival is Sunday, August 21 at Wingfield Park from 11am to 5pm. Ducks race at 4pm. Enjoy food trucks, live entertainment, a carnival, pet adoptions, shopping, sunbathing, pet cuddling, photo taking and more. Details at www.duckrace.com/reno.

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