Our ducks have been busy helping others, despite there being no Rotary Duck Race this year due to Covid-19. A few went out to help Saltwood School's Parent Teacher Association in Hythe...
Those who follow our activities will know that each year we usually hold a Duck Race along the River Stour at Westgate Gardens in Canterbury. As well as being one of our major fundraising activities, it's a great family-friendly event at which we launch about 3,500 ducks into the river. (The ducks, in case you're worried, are just small yellow ones, usually with a red beak!) This year, sadly, we had to cancel due to the pandemic.
Some weeks ago, we received an enquiry from Helen Whittaker, a PTA member of Saltwood Church of England Primary School, about borrowing some ducks for a duck race to be screened to the children in the school. Helen had proposed the idea to their committee and been told to "go for it"! The aim was to bring in some funds for the school’s outdoor classroom appeal. (Just as for us, the school was losing out on its usual fundraising through cake sales, discos, Summer and Christmas Fayres etc.)
We agreed to lend out about 56 ducks to the school for their race. The plan was to film the race (with race commentary) and sell tickets to view the event. Fortunately, a fellow parent is a film maker and offered to collaborate with Helen, who set up a project list, found some volunteers to marshall the race, got our ducks and found a suitable stream (at Brockhill Country Park). Risk assessments, insurances and filming permissions were sorted and they filmed the race on a sunny Sunday morning, (having decorated the banks with Christmas snow, sleighs etc.) Father Christmas set off the race!
The film of the race, called ‘The Great (2020) Christmas Quacker Race’, was screened in classrooms on 17 December (together with an I-spy sheet). A separate screening was done for parents on the same day.
The event created some much needed silliness and fun at the end of term as part of a day of Christmas dinner and classroom Christmas festivities. Prizes and rosettes were provided by kind parents willing to help make the race special for the children. The final film included ducks landing in the playground, trying out the school's slide, then waddling up to Brockhill Park for the race; teachers were edited in to cheer the ducks on from the sidelines.
We understand that the race raised around £585 - though the final figure will be confirmed in the New Year. You can view a fun "trailer" for the race here.
Donations are still welcomed by the school:
- Account name: The Friends of Saltwood School
- Account number 09211098
- Sort Code: 52-41-42
- Ref: Duck Race
We loved the film and are delighted that our little ducks have found the time to help out a good cause - just like all good Rotarians!
Picture: A still from the "trailer", showing the fast-moving ducks in action outside the school gates! Picture credits: Director/Producer - Helen Whittaker; Film maker - Craig Russill-Roy; Location: Brockhill Country Park.