Big Daddy Duck Race to pick up pace for summer reading

IN GOOD COMPANY—These fine folks from Rockford Ambulance, United Bank and other Rockford businesses are proud to be part of the inaugural Big Daddy Duck Race. There is only one more duck to purchase, so don't delay to be part of this group.

Rockford Rotary Club has provided scholarship funding for the Rockford Public Schools (RPS) Summer Reading Program for several years. Last year, the funds raised fell short of the increased need.

“Reading is critical for success in school and life,” said Lisa Jacobs, executive director of RPS Community Services, “and the summer reading program is an important strategy to help young students be successful readers.”

The three-week program, each July, helps young students maintain what they learned in the previous school year and prepare for the new school year.

Rockford Rotary President Sue Bodenner designated this year’s annual Duck Race as the fundraiser to fund the summer reading program at a higher level and have additional funds for a special literacy project. As Jacobs reviews summer reading program needs and ideas with Bodenner, another type of planning is happening. Local businesses are sponsoring Big Daddy Ducks for $100 each for the first race on June 9 during Start of Summer.

“There are just two rules for the Big Daddy Duck Race of 22 large ducks: no motor and no whining if you lose!” stated Rotarian Erik Luxhoj, chair.

The Facebook page has evidence of ducks going through training and enhancements and “all in support of better readers” said Corner Bar Manager John Vanaman.

“I hope your duck drowns,” said Jim Bodenner to Rockford Ambulance's Roger Morgan. Big boys don't always play nice, but it is all for a good cause: to fund summer reading programs for Rockford kids.

Rogue River Red Hats to the staff of Rockford Ambulance all agree that it was an irresistible way to raise funds for this good cause—and they might just win the unique traveling trophy designed by Justin Kauffman and Gary Davis. There is just one big duck left. The 2,000 tickets for the regular Rockford Rotary Duck Race go on sale before May 1. Check Facebook page “Big Daddy Duck Race” to find out businesses involved, where to get tickets and the prizes being offered to get readers of The Rockford Squire involved to help young readers in our community. For more information e-mail to rockfordmirotary@gmail.com or call Erik Luxhog at (616) 884-0694.

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