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Bare Necessities hosted its second annual Ducky Dash for Diapers in 2017 with record number of 1,000 ducks racing down the river. This year’s event is on Saturday, July 14. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
Kayaking rubber duck wranglers round up all the duckies after the Ducky Dash for Diapers. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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Now that summer has arrived in full force, Clinton residents seeking to do something fun outside and to help people at the same time should head to the third annual Ducky Dash for Diapers behind Town Hall on Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m.
For $5—enough to provide three days’ worth of diapers—participants get a ticket for a numbered rubber ducky that will be launched into the Indian River on race day The first nine ducks to cross the finish line will be rewarded with prizes such as a stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, a Block Island excursion, or an Apple watch.
The event is being held by Bare Necessities, a nonprofit organization that helps to supply diapers and toiletry needs to families in need.
According to Bare Necessities’ President Beth Serra-Loud, this year the organization decided to change up the event a bit and add a “family fun day” to the event with crafts, a science presentation, and a children’s song singer. The duck race will go on rain or shine, and the other events will be held in the Town Hall should inclement weather strike.
The Ducky Dash, which fills the river with rubber duckies and draws a large crowd of spectators to the center of Clinton, brings a very visible presence to an organization that serves what is often an unseen need. Diapers aren’t usually the first item people think of when they want to make a donation to a charity.
“And that’s really why we do it,” Serra-Loud said. “Our goal was to raise diaper awareness and make it a community event.”
Serra-Loud said that research shows that 40,000 kids in Connecticut have a diaper need. Many daycares require a certain amount of diapers for each child, which means families that can’t meet that quota can’t send their children to daycare. Serra-Loud said this creates a cycle where families can’t afford day care so a parent stays home with the child, but then the family doesn’t have enough money to make ends meet because the parent isn’t able to work.
Additionally, Serra- Loud said that a “stunning statistic” she came across was that military families face a diaper need 62 percent of the time, compared to around 30 percent of non-military families.
Serra-Loud said that the Connecticut Diaper Bank provides families with a supplement of 50 diapers, which corresponds to 30 percent fewer visits to the doctor for diaper-related illnesses.
Serra-Loud said that with the support of the community through events like the Ducky Dash or donations year-round, Bare Necessities currently helps 160 kids in Clinton, and 250 kids overall in shoreline area.
“We want the community to know how grateful we are for their support,” Serra-Loud said.
Tickets can be purchased in Clinton at Town Pride, Amy’s Active Learning, Chester’s Barbecue, and Grove Gardens. Tickets can also be purchased in Madison, Killingworth, Westbrook, and Old Saybrook at MJW, Clam Castle, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Willow & Birch, Spirits of Madison, June’s Outback, Rambling River Antiques, Edd’s Place, and Seaside Wine and Spirits.
For more information, visit the Bare Necessities’ website www.barenecessitiesct.org.
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