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Popular Reedy River Duck Derby fundraiser to be held online on July 11

For 15 years, thousands of little yellow ducks in black sunglasses bobbed down the Reedy River in Greenville’s Falls Park to raise money for Upstate charities.

Now in its 16th year, the Reedy River Duck Derby will be a virtual event on Saturday, July 11, at 2:30 p.m.

Rotary Club of the Reedy River Greenville has announced plans to hold an online only version of the annual festival due to continued safety protocols over Covid-19, according to club President Wendy Green. The virtual race will take place on Facebook, with winners selected at random.

“We know people love seeing the ducks in the water, but we also have to be responsible to the people of the Upstate,” Green said. “We are going to do a virtual derby this year in order to continue supporting local nonprofits because now more than ever, they need our help.”

The duck race over Reedy River Falls has grown to be one of Greenville’s main events, complete with music, food and vendors throughout the city’s premier downtown park. Crowds cheer as thousands of ducks are released upstream, then race over the falls to the finish line.

Ducks are “adopted” at $10 for a single duck or $30 for a five-duck Super Quack Pack, with 100 percent of derby proceeds going to local charities. The Reedy River Duck Derby has raised funds for Early Act First Knight, Honduras Water Project, United Ministries, Girls on the Run, Mauldin Miracle League, the Cancer Survivors Park, Trees Upstate and many others.

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As of this writing, 3,587 ducks have been adopted – 36 percent of the 10,000-ducks goal. Ducks can be adopted online.

Local Duck Adoption Teams that include youth groups, PTAs, schools and nonprofits are working to sell ducks, earning a percentage of each duck adopted under their team name. To support a Duck Adoption Team, select the Team Tab at the top of the webpage.

The duck derby’s first place winner will receive groceries for one year from Publix. The second-place finisher gets $2,500 and third place wins a golf weekend at the Embassy Suites on Verdae. This year’s event features more than 30 prizes.

“We know the event will be different from what people have experienced in the past,” Green said. “But that doesn’t change our mission of supporting Upstate nonprofit organizations that help families in the Upstate.”

The Reedy River Duck Derby is the primary annual fundraiser of The Rotary Club of the Reedy River Greenville, a service organization of local businesspeople. Rotarians traditionally develop community service projects to address many of today’s most critical issues, especially children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy and violence. Rotary Club members worldwide work to achieve the key Rotary objective of “Service Above Self.”

Want to help? Go here to adopt a duck.

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