Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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July 11, 2014

Rubber ducks are back at Kokomo Beach

Thursday's Duck Derby to raise money for Samaritan Caregivers

On Thursday 2,000 tiny, rubber ducks will race down the lazy river at Kokomo Beach to raise money for an organization that may be one of Kokomo’s best-kept secrets.

Jamey Henderson said there are still many people who don’t know what Samaritan Caregivers does in the community.

Next week’s Duck Derby aims to raise more than $19,000, though, for the organization that helps area seniors stay in their homes as they age.

“The whole reason we have this event is so we can continue to recruit volunteers and match them up with seniors who need a little help,” said Henderson, executive director of Samaritan Caregivers. “Volunteers provided 3,500 free rides to seniors last year, mostly to doctor’s appointments. We don’t want people to lose sight of the fact that their ticket goes to support these free services.”

Samaritan Caregivers is hoping to sell all 2,000 of its derby tickets for the first time this year. Henderson said that would be a sweet way to celebrate the derby’s 15th anniversary.

A $5 ticket will get you a slice of Papa John’s pizza, a coke, access to lots of free games, three free hours of swimming at Kokomo Beach and a chance to win $1,000 if the rubber duck you’re given crosses the finish line first in the derby.

In addition to the little duck races, there will be a Papa Duck race. Businesses, organizations or even individuals can purchase an oversized duck for $100. The winners of the Papa Duck race win a Papa John’s pizza party.

Those oversized ducks can also be dressed up for a costume contest of sorts, with prizes going to the winners of categories like most attractive, most whimsical/funny, most creative and people’s choice.

Red Door Vardo Arts is entering a belly-dancing duck this year. Cartridge World has created a duck that looks a little like Antonio Banderas from Zorro, Henderson said, with a laugh. It’s wearing a black hat with a feather in it.

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