Three Quad-City area men hope they can generate enough interest in a race of rubber ducks down a stretch of Davenport's Duck Creek that they raise $3,000 to donate toward school safety in the Quad-Cities.
Their race, called Duck for Life, will begin at noon Saturday, July 21, along the bike path near where Washington Street would be if it went through, and will end about 3,000 feet — or about 30 minutes — later in Junge Park, off 35th Street, across from the American Legion.
The end point is near a parking lot with shade so "people can watch as their ducks come through," said Josh Lighton, one of the three men organizing the event.
People supporting the cause will buy a duck for $5 (or three for $10 or six for $20) with the possibility of winning up to $500 if their duck — identified on the bottom with a number — crosses the finish line first, said Jon Davidshofer, another organizer.
The money raised will go to Quad-City school districts to help make buildings safer, either through the installation of equipment, the training of counselors or the purchase of supplies, Davidshofer said. Exact use will be up to the districts.
The fundraiser is an outgrowth of the men's enrollment in leadership training offered by Integrity Integrated, a Davenport-based business, and their assignment to complete a project to make the area a better place.
At the time they were enrolled, a shooter killed 17 students and staff at a high school in Parkland, Florida, so school safety was uppermost in the men's minds, said Davidshofer, who is a commercial loan officer for American Bank & Trust Co., Davenport.
Lighton is with Iowa-American Water Co., which is donating the ducks. All ducks will be retrieved after the race, he said. The third organizer is Anthony Heddlesten, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The men have partnered with Q-C United, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing positive social/emotional experiences for youth through educational programs and college scholarships, to handle the money. The men hope to make the fundraiser an annual event.
If you are interested in purchasing a duck, go to the website at qcunited.org/duck-for-life.php.
For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.