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Alzheimer Society hopes to make a splash with annual Duck Race

Annual fundraiser set to take place at Great Canadian Kayak Challenge and Festival
2019-08-13 duck-race
Staff at the Alzheimer Society of Timmins-Porcupine District are feeling just ducky about their upcoming fundraiser. The annual Duck Race Raffle is set to take place on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. during the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge and Festival. Holding a mascot duck is Executive Director Elizabeth McLeod, while intern Erin Bergeron-Savard displays a poster for the event. Wayne Snider for TimminsToday

If you want a chance to win the big race, you had better get quacking and buy a ticket.

The annual Duck Race, hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Timmins-Porcupine District, is set to take place on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m.

“Every year, at the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge and Festival, we do what’s called the Duck Race,” explained Elizabeth McLeod, executive director of the Alzheimer Society. “On the last day, we drop up to 2,500 rubber ducks — depending on how many tickets we sell — into the Mattagami River from the bridge. They are all dumped at the same time, so they go downstream in the river to where we have a channel set up. We have a small spot where one duck can fit through, so the first three ducks that go through win first, second and third prize.”

Duck Race Raffle tickets are sold with corresponding numbers on the rubber duckies. Winning ticket holders take home cash prizes.

“Our first prize is $1,500, second prize is $700 and third prize is $300,” she said.

All funds raised from the event are used to support local programs.

“Hopefully, we’ll sell out and sell all our 2,500 tickets this year,” McLeod said. “They are being sold for $5 each or five for $20. If we sell out, that would be fantastic. All the proceeds go to provide services locally. If we raise a little bit more this year, then that would be great, because it would open up opportunities for use to expand our services.”

The programs help not only local patients, but their families.

“We do education support services for those who are suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s or any other dementia-related diseases,” she said. “We provide support for caregivers of the family, someone who is taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.”

Fundraising plays an important role for the Society. Staff and volunteers are busy throughout the year organizing events.

“We have another event coming up in September called Ride for Memories,” she said. “It’s a motorcycle ride that we start in Matheson and loop around to Iroquois Falls, Cochrane, Timmins and South Porcupine. We visit long-term care facilities in those communities to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia. We also have Mud Factor and our Alzheimer’s Walk around Gillies Lake.”

The duck race also provides some fun for the spectators. Where else can you see adults loudly cheering on rubber ducks?

“It’s definitely an exciting event, something to come out and see,” McLeod said.

For more information about programs or to purchase tickets, contact the Alzheimer’s Society of Timmins-Porcupine District at 705-268-4554 or toll-free at 1-888-288-4554, visit their office in the lower level of The 101 Mall in Timmins, or visit the website.