Rotary’s Duck Derby and YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day Join Forces for 10th Time

by Robert Kimmel

duckie-p.23 duck derby

For the 10th consecutive year, the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns and the Family YMCA are collaborating to produce a day packed with fun and excitement at Patriot’s Park. The YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day and the Rotary’s annual Duck Derby are scheduled for Saturday, April 29.

Healthy Kids Day activities begin at 11 a.m., and they will include rides, live music, “Y” dancers, sports and carnival games among the other happenings. There will be food vendors and information available about healthy living.

The first Duck Derby gets underway at 11:30 a.m. Andre Brook serves as the waterway for eight races, with the Grand Final Race at 2:45 p.m. culminating with a $1,500 prize for the adopter of the winning rubber ducky. The final race includes winners of the prior five regular race heats. As many as 1,700 ducks have competed in past Derbies.

This year’s Duck Derby is dedicated to Gerry Barbelet. who passed away this past June at the age of 71. Barbelet was a lifelong resident of Tarrytown and former Village Treasurer. He had been honored recently by the Rotary with an award given to members who exemplify the Rotary motto of “Service above self.” Barbelet was also a Life Active member, and served as president of Tarrytown Fire Department’s Conqueror Hook and Ladder Company # 1, among his other community activities.

Ducky adoptions are now available and will continue to be so right up through the periods between the race heats at Patriot’s Park. Applications for earlier adoptions are obtainable on the Rotary’s website, which accepts credit cards. They may also be obtained by calling Mimi Godwin at (914) 631-0675. A single ducky adoption is $10. For a better chance to win, a “Six-Quack” is $50. Those who really want to increase their odds of winning can adopt a “Tub-of-Ducks,” 13 in all, for $100.

A special “50/50 race” dedicated to Barbelet and the Derby’s 10th Anniversary will be added to this year’s event. That race will be limited to only 10 rubber ducks competing, and they are available for adoption at $200 each. The winner is expected to receive $1,000, and the other $1,000 proceeds from that race will go toward the restoration of the Fire Department’s 2001 Hope Hose Company No. 1 pumper truck. That Tarrytown Fire Company has been instrumental each year in maintaining a strong water flow in Andre Brook to keep the Derby Ducks moving.

Rotarians Godwin and JoAnne Murray, who have been organizing a decade of races, will be promoting this year’s Derby with appearances again as costumed ducks at various places and times in the community, including in the Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown St. Patrick’s Day parade, scheduled for Sunday afternoon, March 12.

Revenue from the Duck Derby goes toward supporting the various grants and scholarships the Rotary Club awards annually.

A tutorial on soccer skills, as well as participation in soccer competitions, are included within the Y’s Healthy Kids Day’s schedule. The youngest children can partake in kiddie rides. While there are many free events and activities scheduled, the children’s rides require the purchase of a $10 bracelet that may be purchased at the Y beginning next month or on location, and which is good for the entire day.

For energetic youngsters, there will a climbing wall. A line-up of youth bands and soloists are set to provide the music. Girl Scouts return to do the face painting popular in past years.

In addition to the entertaining and sports events, Healthy Kids Day will include “many informative and craft tables,” according to Barbara Turk, a Vice President of the Y. They will embrace healthcare, dentists, insurance, orthodontics, nutrition, as well as Philipsburg Manor, and include “a realm of non- profit organizations.”

A good number of food vendors are returning, including Jimmy’s Softserve, offering frozen yogurt, popular at the event.

Both the Rotary and YMCA depend upon sponsorship contributions to stage their events. As of this reporting, the Y’s presenting sponsor is Phelps Memorial Hospital, and its Event Sponsors are Stop & Shop and MVP Healthcare. Ride Sponsors include EF School International and Kohl’s.

The Rotary’s Duck Derby Presenting Sponsors are Open Door and Phelps Hospital. Gold Sponsors include Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Sam’s Club and The Hudson Independent.  Silver sponsors are  Tarrytown Honda, On Track, Allan Block Insurance. Bronze Sponsors are DoubleTree Hotel, Marriott Hotel, Eileen Fisher, Atlantic Copy Machines, Antonio Cabinetry, Kendal on Hudson, Joseph Goscilo DDS, Harold Gross Financial, and Legends William Raveis.

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