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Rotary Club’s Duck Derby, Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day Attract Crowds to Patriots Park

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June 29, 2021

By Robert Kimmel–

Patriots Park was again the scene of families and young folks flocking to its locale Sunday to enjoy the combined pleasures of the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns’ Duck Derby and the Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day. Lifting pandemic restrictions gave attendance at the dual activities a major boost this year.

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The two host organizations both characterized their events as successful, with a good turnout and participation by the community. Last year’s Derby was streamed but not open to the public, and the Y’s Healthy Kids Day was cancelled.

“We were very pleased with the event Sunday, especially after not being able to host this annual family day last year due to COVID,” stated Lesa Dalton, the Y’s Associate Executive Director.

“It was the best year ever with sponsors being very generous and the community support adopting rubber ducks overwhelmingly,” said JoAnne Murray, the Rotary’s co-organizer of the Derby.

There were 1,741 tiny “adopted” rubber ducks taking part in the six race heats leading up to the Grand Final Race in which each heat winner participated. Murray noted previously that many of the adoptions had also taken place prior to the Derby via the Rotary’s Facebook page. Adopters paid fees ranging from $10 for a single duck to $100 for a bucket of ducks (13).

“This event is a community event and could not happen without the collaboration of the YMCA of Tarrytown, the engineering of the races by Hope Hose and Conqueror Fire Houses, Tarrytown’s Recreation Department, Department of Public Works (DPW), Police Department and the Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Corps,” Murray added.

While many spectators lined Andre Brook to watch the Derby races, they were also streamed to offer those who could not attend in person the opportunity to watch them.

Adopters of the ducks winning the six heats were each awarded $100 by the Rotary and a $75 restaurant certificate provided by The Hudson Independent. The winner of the Grand Final Race received the Rotary’s $1,500 prize.

Heat winners were Andres Valdespino, Rich Slingerland, Stephanie Tuttle, Connor Arnott and Tia Gueye. The Connor family’s duck was the grand final winner.

The YMCA’s activities for this special day, including rides, face painting, arts and crafts, a dance party, Y Cheer, and a new activity- a Walkathon, were enjoyed by attendees.

“It was so much fun,” Dalton said, “ And it was so nice to see all the children and adults smiling and having a good time.”

She said her favorite moment was seeing all the children from Abbott House interacting and dancing with the Y dance students. Dalton noted that Y Board member, Edward Appuzzo, commented about how touching it was to see how much the outing meant to the Abbott House children. Twenty of Irvington’s Abbott House children, refugees who are housed and cared for at the Irvington facility, were the Y’s guests at the event.

Sponsors help both the Rotary Club and the YMCA maintain their activities and, in turn, allow them to offer financial and other assistance to charitable causes in the communities. Both organizations list all of their sponsors, as well as information about their programs, on their web pages: and

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