If you happened to be in Greenville, South Carolina during the first weekend in May, you may have come across a rather unusual sight — thousands of yellow rubber duckies floating down the Reedy River. Believe it or not, the ducks were doing their part to raise money for local charities, as the star performers of the 13th annual Rotary Club of Greenville Evening’s Reedy River Duck Derby. House of Raeford Farms proudly served as the Presenting Sponsor.
The Reedy River Duck Derby takes place each year on the first Saturday in May. Between 6,000 and 10,000 rubber ducks — each one “adopted” by a member of the community — race down the river and tumble over the falls. Folks purchase “adoption papers” online before the event and receive an RFID tracking number that corresponds to the tracker inside their adopted duck. This year, the first duck to cross the finish line won their adopter a year’s worth of Publix groceries in addition to raising thousands of dollars for local charities.
Some of the organizations that benefitted from this year’s event include Mauldin Miracle League, Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network, EarlyAct FirstKnight, Polio Plus, and Partners in Agriculture, among others.
“House of Raeford wanted to get involved because the Duck Derby is a fun, family-friendly event with a mission of giving back to charitable outreach organizations — which is to some degree the mission of our non-profit organization, House of Raeford Farms FLOCK,” said Curtis Carr, Director of Community Outreach.
Jessica St. Clair Smith, Public Image Chair for the Rotary Club of Greenville, said the organization originally came up with the idea to host a duck derby 13 years ago as a way to attract more people to downtown Greenville and raise money for local charities.
“We needed a way to raise money, and we knew we wanted to do it downtown at Falls Park on the Reedy because it’s a focal point for Greenville,” St. Clair Smith said. “We also wanted to figure out a way that we could incorporate the river.”
Since their first race, the Reedy River Duck Derby has grown rapidly, attracting more than 7,500 people to downtown Greenville. House of Raeford Farms will also be sponsoring next year’s Reedy River Duck Derby on Saturday, May 5, 2018.