Duck race returns to Happy Creek

FRONT ROYAL — The Warren County Youth Cheerleading Association’s Fourth Annual Rubber Duck Race will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“We have a great group of volunteers who help us with staging the creek for the event and also helping to keep all our ducks accounted for!” LeAnn Lewis-Haffer, association president, stated in an email. “Our girls really enjoy cheering the ducks on and it’s a lot of fun to watch!”

WCYCA is a youth recreational cheerleading association serving children in the Warren County community. Funds that support the organization are generated by their own efforts. Lewis-Haffer and Jamie Taylor, a fellow coach, decided four years ago to come up with a unique way to buy new cheerleading uniforms.

“We wanted a fundraiser that was different and didn’t leave our parents trying to sell pizza, cookies or gift wrap! It worked out perfectly that we were able to find ducks that were actually cheerleader ducks,” explained Lewis-Haffer.

Cheerleaders, coaches and board members have been “adopting” ducks since the beginning of August. Ducks are $5 each, or a there’s “Quack Pack” of five ducks for $20. The ducks are numbered and each adoptee is assigned a number. The duck roster is posted on the WCYCA’s Facebook page along with the adoptee names.

The ducks will float down Happy Creek, just past the 8th Street bridge, behind the Raymond E. Santmyers Youth Center to the last shelter  along the creek side. As the ducks round the finish line, judges will announce the winners.

The first place duck winner will receive $250. Prizes will be awarded to all participants in the duck race.

“In our past races we have raised between $2,000 and $3,000,” Lewis-Haffer said.

A limited number of ducks will be available for adoption on race day. Face painting, pizza and drinks will be provided to participants.

WCYCA offers three programs:

Flag football cheerleading – for girls ages 5-7. They cheer for the Warren County Parks & Recreation NFL Flag Football program.

Midget football cheerleading – for girls ages 8-13. They cheer for the Front Royal Midget Football Tackle Football program.

Basketball cheerleading – for girls ages 5-13. They cheer for the Warren County Parks & Recreation Jr. NBA Basketball program.