Promotion of the United Way of Prince Edward County’s signature event – the 2nd Annual Great Farmville Duck Derby – goes into another gear with a social this week.
The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts Center will host a wine and brew for the United Way from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 15.
The event is part of the kickoff of promotion and marketing of the duck derby. The kickoff began Wednesday, Feb. 13, with Spirit Night at the Fishn’Pig restaurant.
“We are grateful to the LCVA for partnering with us,” said Jennifer Kinne, a United Way board member and the group’s director of marketing. “We will have ducks for sale at the event.”
The 2nd Annual Great Farmville Duck Derby is scheduled for Friday, May 3, and will be held at Riverside Park in conjunction with the Heart of Virginia Festival. All proceeds will benefit the United Way’s 20 partner organizations.
Last year’s derby brought in approximately $9,000.
Plans call for 2,000 ducks to be sold. And, same as last year, owner of the first place duck will receive $1,000; the second-place duck, $500; and the third-place duck, $250.
Tickets for the derby are being sold around town, by some of United Way’s partner organizations, and by United Way board members. Citizen’s Bank & Trust and Benchmark bank are among those selling tickets. Tickets sell for $5 each or five for $20.
Davis said he is waiting to hear back from all the potential sponsors so that the flyers, banners, radio spots and other promotional materials mentioning them can be prepared.
Right now, plans call for the ducks to be released at 6:45 p.m., with the winners announced during a break in the festival’s music.
Last year, bad weather prompted the rescheduling of the derby. But Davis said that isn’t happening this year.
“I’ve already told people it’s a go no matter what,” he said.
Last year, high, faster-flowing water led to some ducks escaping the intended collection system, prompting the need for some board members to wade into the water to collect them before they disappeared downstream. Davis said he hopes to avoid that happening again.
“Hopefully we will come up with a little better system of capturing them this year,” he said. However, collection plans have not been finalized.
This year, the United Way has a goal of raising $60,000 to distribute to 22 partners. Nearly 94 percent of the money the group raises goes to its nonprofit partners, United Way President Rucker Snead said.
The United Way has helped with everything from paying for swimming lessons at the YMCA, to helping send 4H members to a show.
In January, the United Way awarded $45,000 to its partners — the most the group has been able to give out at one time in years, Snead gloated at the time.