For the seventh year in a row, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge (BGCBR) will put on the Blue Ridge Duck Race, presented by The Lester Group. On August 22, 10,000 rubber ducks will be dropped into the Smith River, during the Smith River Fest presented by Dr. J. Peyton Moore Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry.
Proceeds raised during the race will go to benefit the BGCBR after-school enrichment program. In an effort to serve more teens, BGCBR will partner with New College Institute – STAGS Team 1262 robotics. Together, each organization will be selling ducks for this event that raises nearly $75,000 for local mentoring programs, collectively serving 400 youth annually.
Since 2005, BGCBR has been providing afterschool and summer programs in Martinsville and Henry County. BGCBR offers a safe place to learn and grow, ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals, life-enhancing programs, and character development experiences. The Blue Ridge Duck Race is the signature fundraiser for BGCBR and rallies support from local business and community members, which is vital in supporting BGCBR’s mission of enabling all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
BGCBR recognizes the importance of exposing teens to life experiences that prepare them for life after high school and entering the workforce. New College Institute’s FIRST Robotics Team 1262, known as the “STAGS” (Students Technologically Advancing for Greater Success) is composed of area students from Martinsville and Henry County High Schools. The STAGS will enter their 17th year competing at tournament-style regional, state, and national competitions. STAGS Team 1262 members are mentored by local engineers, teachers, and community leaders to design, build, and program a robot to complete a specific challenge and be competition-ready in just six weeks. Robotics teaches members of the STAGS self-confidence, time management, design, critical thinking, leadership and teamwork skills. The ultimate goal of STAGS Team 1262 is to fulfill the FIRST mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, to inspire innovation.
Duck adoptions will begin online on July 10 on www.blueridgeduckrace.com. Many businesses will be offering specials to customers and compete with one another to see the most ducks. Virtual sales events will take place and additional prizes will be available so that BGCBR can additionally provide support to local businesses who have also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ducks can be adopted for only $5 each, $25 for a Quack Pack (5 Ducks + 1 Free) or a $100 Flock (25 Ducks + 5 FREE). Any quantity can be purchased; the more purchased, the better the odds of winning. The Adoptive Parent of the First Place Duck will receive a $2,000 Grand Prize, 2nd Place $1,000 and 3rd Place $500. Additional prizes may be available the day of the race.
Sponsors for the 2020 Blue Ridge Duck Race include The Lester Group, Hooker Furniture, New College Institute, Mid Atlantic Broadband Corporation, Sovah Health, Checkered Flag Sports, Frith Construction, Carter Bank & Trust, Appalachian Power, Martinsville Eye Care, Children Pediatrics of Virginia, P.C., PATHS, J & R Management, Southwest VA Gas, Martinsville Henry & Patrick Counties Association of Realtors, First Piedmont Corporation, Triangle Electric Corporation, Debbie’s Staffing Service, Jacob Law Firm, Piedmont Dermatology Center, Mahoney Family Medicine, Smith & Associates, Ameriprise Financial, Mallard & Mallard CPA’s, LLC, and Martinsville Smiles. Updates on the Duck Race can be found at www.blueridgeduckrace.com or Boys & Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge Facebook page.