When you ask most people if they give to the United Way, they think of the typical workplace campaign that has occurred for many years. The Columbus United Way has found success in an event that offers another way to donate; the Lazy River Duck Run.
In 2016 we held our 19th annual duck race, generating a net profit of $59,400. Surprising, isn’t it! Over the years a grand total of almost $779,200 has been raised by racing little plastic ducks!! The proceeds go into our general campaign and are allocated to our partner agencies just like all other donations. It’s great that such a fun event can benefit so many in the Columbus area.
Our local Sertoma Club started the duck race back in 1998. They organized the race with the intent that the proceeds would benefit the United Way. Once the event was established, the United Way gained sole management of the race. Many volunteers have helped with the race over the years. A small committee puts this entire event together. First of all, prize sponsors are solicited. The fabulous prizes seem to be the key to our success. But of course you don’t have success without the volunteers that sell the tickets. Our Pacesetter companies, Service Club members and tellers at local financial institutions sell the majority of the tickets. Then there are a few special promotions along the way adding the thrill of competition to sell tickets. And the media ties this all together in a neat little package to inform the community about our fundraiser and educate everyone on who benefits from the proceeds.
This team effort is exactly why this event has become so successful. Individuals purchase a ticket with the hope of winning a prize. The donation goes into the general campaign fund, which is then allocated to our partner agencies. The partner agencies provide much needed services to our community, helping fulfill the United Way mission of improving individual lives and building a strong community. It’s amazing that a little plastic duck can accomplish so much.