Not surprisingly, the United Way of Prince Edward County has postponed the Third Annual Great Farmville Duck Derby.
“As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and the cancellation of the 2020 Heart of Virginia Festival, the United Way … has decided to postpone our Annual Duck Derby Race,” the group’s all-volunteer board of directors said in a statement. “We hope to reschedule our event for later in the year and appreciate everyone’s support thus far.”
But in an effort that the group hopes will spread some cheer in these stressful times and continue to help raise funds for local now stretched-thin nonprofits, the United Way will continue its Duck a Friend event, putting handmade ducks in people’s yard.
Since a Wine and Brew in late February at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, people have gleefully paid $20 to have four handmade ducks placed in someone’s yard. Once “You’ve been ducked,” you can pay to have the ducks removed to someone else’s yard of your choosing.
That effort will continue, the funds raised going to the United Way’s 23-partner organizations “during these trying times so that we can support our partners as we address the emerging needs of our community,” the release said
“You can spread a smile and a family of four ducks to a friend,” the release continued. “Our flocks have been showing up across town and will continue to do so until June 30.”
Those interested in arranging a flocking, can approach United Way board members for a copy of the order form, or can use the link on the Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the United Way continues to look for companies, organizations, and individuals as sponsors. As of now, the effort has eight sponsors: Holman Masonry, Stokes Management, Brad Watson of Davenport & Company, the North Street Press Club restaurant, Fourth Street Motors, Benchmark Community Bank, Virginia Farm Bureau, Citizens Bank & Trust Company, and Appomattox River Company.
Donations have reached over $52,000 as the United Way moves toward its goal of raising $65,000 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
The sum is a fundraising milestone for the United Way, prompting another star to go up on the board in front of Citizens Bank and Trust tracking the fundraising march.
But even as they recognize the achievement, board members noted the organization, which usually allocates to its partners approximately 95 percent of what it generates, is looking for ways to best contribute to local relief efforts.
“I’m in the process of trying to touch base with some of our key non-profit leaders,” United Way President Rucker Snead told his fellow board members in an email last week.
The United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit, and the funds raised by Prince Edward’s all-volunteer board are essential for some of the smaller partner organizations. Locally, United Way funds have gone toward everything from putting a roof on a community building, to helping community groups keep their lights on, to providing meals.