Rubber Duck Derby and Y’s Healthy Kids Day Brings Hundreds To Patriot’s Park

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Credit: Margaret Fox Photography

Grabbing the winning ducks during the heats!
Grabbing the winning ducks during the heats!

|  by Robert Kimmel  |  

The weather cooperated for the eighth consecutive year, as the Rotary Club and the Family YMCA at Tarrytown combined their resources for a day of fun, entertainment and excitement at Patriot’s Park, Saturday, April 25. Under sunny skies, crowds of kids and grownups  enjoyed both the Y’s Healthy Kids Day activities and the Rotary Club of the Tarrytown’s Duck Derby.   The YMCA offered Send in the Clown rides and carnival games, among their always engaging activities.  Live music and plenty of food was available from local restaurants and cafes. Local Kids Bands  Second Sun and Slow Rollers and the adult group, The North Tarrytown All Stars rocked the park with great music.

The Gotham Girls Roller Derby team displayed their skills and the Pace University LaCrosse and Field Hockey teams demonstrated their techniques for the crowds.

This year’s Derby saw nearly 1,700 adopted Duckies compete, helping to raise $14,000 which the Rotary distributes back into the community in the form of grants and scholarships.

Rotary Derby Ducks race down Andres Brook.
Rotary Derby Ducks race down Andres Brook.

The Derby started  at 11:45 a.m. with the first of six preliminary heats in the Ducky Derby leading up to the final, seventh race. Every 30 minutes in the following heats, hundreds more Duckies competed for a heat race winner’s prize of $100 as they raced down Andres Brook to the finish line. The winners of each heat competed  in the scheduled final race at 2:45 p.m. for a chance to collect the day’s big, first place prize of $1,500, for the adopter of that winning Ducky. That prize went to Kathy Weisel, who had adopted the winner.

Heralding the Derby, the two people- sized Ducky mascots  made their pre-Derby promotional appearances around the villages of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. They are, in real life, Rotary’s Derby organizers, JoAnne Murray and Mimi Godwin.

“With the help of Hope Hose Company, from Tarrytown’s Fire Department, and the Village Recreation Department, Andres Brook was cleaned up and ready for the races,” explained Murray. Hope Hose was on hand  to keep the current moving swiftly to propel the Duckies downstream to the races’ finish. A host of other volunteers from various organizations helped out. They included the Girls Scouts of the Tarrytowns, teens from the Irvington Immaculate Conception Church, the Sleepy Hollow High School Rotary Interact students, Tarrytown’s Conquerer Hook and Ladder Company, and Tarrytown’s DPW, and Ambulance Corps.

Sponsors for the Duck Derby,  included: Tarrytown Honda, The DoubleTree Hotel, On Track Sports Center, Sam’s Club, Allan Block Insurance, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Marriott, Capri Pizza and Pasta and The Hudson Independent.

Profits collected by the Y will help fund the scholarships it offers to children and adults who otherwise would not be able to participate in its many of its activities and programs. Among the new participants in Healthy Kids Day were the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, Pace University Lacrosse/Hockey, and a vendor, Sleepy Hollow Physical Therapy, and for the hungry, Taim Falafel Shack.  Stop&Shop returned as a Healthy Kids Day event sponsor and HVP Health Care/HHP were major sponsors of the Y’s events.

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