YMCA Duck Race brings community together to support local families – Essex News Daily

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The beloved South Mountain YMCA Duck Race returned to Maplewood on Memorial Day, May 30, raising $18,632 for area children and families through duck sponsorships, ticket and t-shirt sales, prizes and individual donations.

This year’s sold-out event began with race participants, dressed in duck-themed clothing and accessories, marching with the community in the city’s Memorial Day Parade before the kickoff. sending the race to Memorial Park. A total of 3,500 rubber ducks were released into the river, grouped into five rounds. Maplewood resident Ally Scherzer, elected mayor for the day by YMCA leaders, had the honor of being interviewed by Mayor Dean Dafis and laying the first ceremonial duck to kick off the races.

“The Duck Race is a highlight of the Y’s calendar year, celebrating the power of community while raising funds to support local families and youth so they can access the support and services they need. need to thrive,” said South Mountain YMCA executive director James Goodger. . “Thank you to the incredible team of Y staff, board of directors, sponsors, award donors, all volunteers, township representatives and friends of the Y. Together we have made an impact on many many lives in a single day. »

Proceeds from the Duck Race go to the Y’s financial assistance program, which helps make Y programs, such as childcare and summer camp, affordable for families with extenuating circumstances. In 2021 alone, the South Mountain Y awarded more than $346,000 in direct financial assistance, and one in 12 children in summer camps received assistance.

Funds raised will also support children in local group homes through a partnership with Youth Consultancy Services, as well as the local non-profit MEND Hunger Relief Network, which will receive 20% of proceeds as a grant recipient. community impact Ellie Gianni.

Photos courtesy of Joy Yagid Photography