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  • Off to the races

    Racing rubber ducks for youth programs in the community

    duck race ducks in water
    Over 300 rubber ducks got dropped into the Chestermere canal on July 31 for Synergy's annual Rubber Duck Race. Rubber ducks could be purchased in various locations around Chestermere for $5, and all proceeds raised went directly into upcoming youth programming. Photo by Emily Rogers
    duck race group photo

    Rubber Duck Race watchers, and the mascot Quackers, hurry down the bike path to following the rubber ducks floating down the canal to the finish line during Synergies Rubber Duck Race on July 31. Photo by Emily Rogers

    Synergy’s annual Rubber Duck Race fundraiser helped to raise proceeds for upcoming youth programs in the community on July 31 at the Chestermere Canal.

    “I think the turnout was pretty good, we had a lot of people who came out to watch and it was great because everyone was following the ducks. It was as good as we could expect,” said first time Rubber Duck Race Coordinator Khadija Samoylove

    “Everyone participated, and everyone was either following the ducks or cheering,” Samoylove said.

    Synergy sold approximately 386 ducks, which could be purchased for $5 at various businesses around Chestermere.

    She added that all of the proceeds raised from selling the rubber ducks is going directly into program funding for youth programs at Synergy.

    New to the Synergy Rubber Duck Race this year was the increased amount of community involvement Samoylove achieved.

    Samoylove and the Synergy Rubber Duck mascot Quackers went around to different businesses and sold the rubber ducks.

    “Everyone was very supportive, we ended up going to a bunch of locations around the city and overall it was very successful and even just getting the word out about our event was a success,” she added, “We would do it again.

    “We found that restaurants were the best locations to go around at lunch or in the evening and talk to everyone,” Samoylove said.

    However, Samoylove said she thought a dry run of the race should have been conducted a week prior to the event.

    “I think it went well, everything seemed to be ready to go before hand, but one thing I would’ve changed is we should’ve done a dry run last week which would have been helpful but overall everything else was fairly smooth,”

    Over 300 bright yellow rubber ducks floated down the canal, over the finish line and were about to go past the large net that volunteers were holding up below the bridge.

    Once volunteers and duck race watchers saw that the large net wasn’t catching as many of the rubber ducks it was supposed to, everyone stepped in and helped. Families were scooping up ducks as they floated by, and volunteers were swimming around collecting ducks.

    “When everyone realized we needed a little bit of help everyone stepped in to help collect the ducks which was awesome,” Samoylove said.

    For next year Synergy will get more fishing nets, which were easier to catch the ducks rather than catching the ducks in the large net. Samoylove added, having more people in the water with fishing nets would be more efficient for next year’s race.

    Overall Samoylove is proud of how Synergies annual Rubber Duck Race turned out, and she is proud of how well the event was received by the community.

    “We really apricate the community support even those who didn’t attend still supported us by purchasing a duck,” Samoylove added, “All of that support and the generous time the volunteers gave to help make this event work.”