by Robert Kimmel
Hundreds of little rubber ducks floating down Andre Brook in the Rotary Club’s annual Duck Derby, and crowds of children participating in the Family YMCA Healthy Kids’ Day activities in Tarrytown’s Patriot’s Park spelled success for the collaborative annual event in late April.
“Overall, it was a huge success and we were so pleased with the turnout,” confirmed JoAnne Murray, one of the Rotary Club’s organizers of the event.
An estimated 1,300 people showed up for the dual events, according to Barbara Turk, the Y’s Vice President for Marketing and Community Development. Healthy Kids Day netted the YMCA about $8,500 for the Strong Kids Community Impact Fund, Turk said. She explained that about 500 $10 ride bracelets were bought, permitting children to participate in many of the Y’s activities.
Murray said that the Rotary raised $23,000 from the Duck Derby’s hundreds of duck adoptions, and sponsorships and grants. “We are so grateful to everyone that adopted rubber ducks and to our many sponsors and supporters,” she added. More than $3,000 was awarded to those who had adopted winning ducks in the various race heats and Grand Final race.
The Derby this year honored Gerry Barbelet who passed away last year. Barbelet was a Rotary member, and had been a longtime Tarrytown Treasurer, and president of the Village’s Conquerer Hook and Ladder Company #1,
The day’s activities were the 10th annual collaborative event staged by the Family YMCA and Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns, and the bright, sunny skies also brought with them about the warmest weather experienced during the history of the events.
Murray and Rotary Derby co-organizer, Mimi Godwin, appeared in large duck costumes during the day. “While the temperature was a little hot for the costumes,” Murray explained, “we survived with the help of the Tarrytown Ambulance Corps members, who ice packed us between each race, made sure we were hydrated, and came looking for us if we were out in the heat too long.”
“It seemed there were more children than ever that wanted pictures with us, but maybe it felt like that because we were so warm in the costumes,” Murray said. “We didn’t want to disappoint any children but, at the same time, we needed to get back to the ambulance to cool down.”