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Rotary’s Duck Derby, Y’s Healthy Kids Day Set for Patriots Park

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June 7, 2021

By Robert Kimmel  —

Spectators and fun-seekers will be welcomed at Patriot’s Park for the 14th annual Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns’ Duck Derby and Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day on Sunday, June 27.

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Following the loosening of pandemic restrictions for outdoor gatherings by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), both the Rotary and YMCA are moving ahead to bring their day’s activities as close as possible to where they have been in past years.

Both organizations will be adhering to CDC and Westchester County Department of Health safety guidelines. “We will be following strict safety protocols,” affirmed Lesa Dalton, the YMCA’s Associate Director.                                                                                                                                                                    People who are vaccinated may attend without masks, concurring with the CDC directives, according to Rich Slingerland, Rotary Club President. “However, if people who are vaccinated feel uncomfortable and want to wear a mask, we welcome and encourage that too,” Slingerland noted. “For everyone who has not been vaccinated, if they want to attend, they must perform social distancing and wear a mask at all times. We will have some masks available for people who request them.”

Activities at the park begin at 11 a.m., and the Duck Derby’s first of six preliminary race heats down Andre Brook start a half-hour later. The winning duckies in each of those heats participate in a grand final race. Persons who have adopted winning duckies in the preliminary races will each receive a $100 prize. A $1,500 prize will go to the adopter of the grand final race winner.

Duckies can be adopted by visiting the Rotary’s web site,  Adopting a single duck costs $10. For $50, a “Six Quack” of duckies can be adopted, and $100 will get adopters a “Tub of Ducks,” 13 of the little contestants entering the races. Adoptions will also be available at the Rotary booth during Derby Day.

Adoptions have been coming in at a good rate, according to Rotarian JoAnne Murray, a co-organizer of the Derby event. She and Mimi Godwin, its other original Derby developer, have roamed the park in large duck costumes each year since its inception in 2008.

For interested persons unable to be on site at Patriots Park to observe the Derby, the races will be streamed on the Rotary Club’s Facebook page for all to see.

As part of the YMCA’s activities, there will be a Y Dance Party, tumbling classes, and family group exercise classes, Dalton said. “We are also offering a Y Walkathon around the park and will encourage children and families to walk the path, five, 10, 15 or 20 times to receive a prize. We are partnering with the Rivertown Runners on this activity, and they are donating the 2021 Sleepy Hollow 10k race bib to the first-place winner,” Dalton stated.

“We are also going to have a few inflatable rides,” she added. Purchase of a $5 bracelet this year, provides access to all the Y’s rides.

Many of the Rotary Club and YMCA sponsors, and other organizations will have booths at Patriots Park providing information and more to those entering the park. Among them, The Hudson Independent  will be offering a drawing with prizes for the winners. Plans have not yet been disclosed regarding the possible sources of refreshments at the event.

Money raised by the Rotary’s Derby returns to the community in the form of scholarships and grants, and by the Family Y through support as paid membership and programming for underprivileged youth.

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