By Sue Moore
Clark Park from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 will see hundreds of little rubber duckies winding their way down the creek. It is a highly competitive race for ticket holders with cash prizes for the top three winners. The chances of winning depend pretty much on eddies and other obstacles and diversions encountered along the way.
This Duck Derby race is sponsored by the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation (VCSF) as a fundraiser, but actually ends up being great fun for the many participants as they cheer the ducks along. Tickets are bought by elementary school students throughout the school district. The classroom that has the highest participation rate is treated to an ice cream party put on by foundation members during the last week of school, according to Foundation President Brett Grossman.
The race has been promoted as part of the Old Car Festival when lots of people are in the village to stroll along the streets and find Clark Park as a nice cool place to rest, relax and possibly buy a ticket. What onlookers witness is plenty of excitement as kids, parents, and ticket holders vie to have their rubber duck come in first.
Warren Lawrence, an original member of the school foundation some 37 years ago, has recruited the Munn Agency, Ralph Hayward Agency, Grossman Law, Oswalt Family Farms, Yogi’s Restaurant, and Edward Jones as sponsors of the duck derby. They are generous in their support and in return, Main Street Pub is offering the winning sponsor a free dinner at the Vicksburg restaurant. In 2015, Hill’s Pharmacy was the recipient since their signature duck finished first in the run off heat.
The school foundation was pleased to be able to award $17,500 in scholarships to members of the graduating class of 2016. It also administers the scholarships given by the Vicksburg Foundation. That amounts to $15,000 for a grand total of $32,500!
Other grants are awarded during the school year in the form of Bardeen grants to teachers for innovation in the classroom and Curiosity grants given to students of various ages. They qualify if they have a special or unique idea for a project and need additional funding.