South Mountain YMCA Announces Memorial Day Duck Race Will Take Place Sept. 12

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From the South Mountain YMCA

The iconic Memorial Day Duck Race has been a cherished community event for 21 years in Maplewood. The South Mountain YMCA is excited to bring ducks and families back to the river Sunday, September 12

“While the community came out in ‘virtual’ force to make the 2020 Virtual Duck Race a huge success, we know people want to see their yellow feathered friends back racing live this year,” said James Goodger, South Mountain YMCAs Executive Director.

The races bring our staff, volunteers, township leaders, and community together for such a fun family experience which creates lifelong memories. The South Mountain Y will safely invite the ducks to race and the fans to the riverbanks to cheer them on for a great cause.  







“It will be something everyone can look forward to, this beautiful annual tradition returning, kids and families smiling, laughing and celebrating as the ducks float on by. Going virtual again on Memorial Day was an option, but, like many we just started to feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if we had a chance to get back to the real tradition that the community loves, then we should do it,” said Goodger.

The September 12th Duck Race will be combined with a duck-themed Healthy Kids Day, the Ys other long standing annual tradition and national event, typically held in April.

Combining these two events in Memorial Park in September will make for a fantastic DuckFest and the Y looks forward to unveiling the plans over the next few months. 

“We will be looking for volunteers, event sponsors and prizes for the races again this year and event proceeds will support families through financial scholarship awards for YMCA programs and childcare,” said Goodger.

The Y is also thrilled to announce that 2021 will be the first year awarding the “Ellie Gianni Community Impact Grant’. 

“Last year we selected the three Local Business Alliances to receive a percentage of the net proceeds, and now we are formalizing this award. Each year moving forward the Y will select, based on applications received, a qualifying local non-profit to receive 20%, up to $5,000 of the proceeds, in the memory of Ellie, the Duck Lady, who brought this event to us 21 years ago,” said Goodger.

“My family is so grateful to have this impact grant named for my mom! She would be so honored to know that her memory is living on in the good that others are doing for the community,” said Claire Gianni Sinclair.

Save the date, Sunday September 12th, and join us, in person, for the 22nd racing of Ducks and DuckFest Healthy Kids Day!

To find out more on sponsorship opportunities, prize contributions, volunteering and more, please contact 2021 Duck Race Committee Chair Denyse Reed or Executive Director James Goodger   

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