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Rubber ducks race toward charity

Posted: October 10, 2009 8:50 p.m.
Updated: October 11, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Dylan Brunson , 7, and brother Tyler, 4,cheer on three ducks their mother, Kim, behind, purchased at the 7th Annual Rubber Ducky Regatta at Castaic Lake on Saturday. Proceeds go to Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers.

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A couple hundred children and adults gathered around Castaic Lake on Saturday and cheered on about 3,500 rubber ducks racing Saturday on the water in a fundraiser for a local health center.

“Go ducky!” some children attending the Rubber Ducky Regatta yelled as the plastic yellow ducks with black sunglasses floated down a roped-off lane toward the shore.

The adults and children purchased the ducks through the seventh annual race, which was held at 1 p.m. in conjunction with the two-day Castaic Days outdoor festival. Funds raised from the ducks will go toward the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, Inc., which has locations in Val Verde, Canyon Country and Newhall that serve uninsured Santa Clarita Valley residents.

“It’s been good for us to come out here as a family,” said Castaic resident Scott Moon, who attended the race with his wife and two young children. They bought a six-duck package for $25.

“It’s been good for us to come out here as a family to Castaic Days and enjoy the lake, but also (to) find a way to contribute to a charity,” he added.

After volunteers gathered the first 25 ducks to cross the finish line, families sat on the grass before a stage surrounded by vendor tents.

City council member Bob Kellar and KCAL/CBS news anchor Sandra Mitchell announced the winners, who received everything from free dance lessons to Six Flags Magic Mountain tickets.

The grand prize winner, Donna Collins, won a trip for four to Washington, D.C., which included air fare and hotel expenses.

The second-place prize of a child-sized firefighter playhouse went to James Kayvanfar, and the third-place prize of a catered dinner at the “Chateau Hann” home in Westridge went to Kiki Hacker, said Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers executive director Cheryl Laymon.

Laymon said the participants were able to help others in the Santa Clarita Valley at a convenient price.

“To participate in this event is so affordable,” she said, adding that it only cost five dollars to adopt a duck.

“It’s the perfect way for people to support us, helps us, and then enables us... to provide health care to people without insurance or to those who are underinsured.”

The company’s newest center in Newhall opened in May but is only available to patients two days a week, Laymon said. The center is set to expand to full-time hours in November, she said.

The Castaic Days event, sponsored by the Castaic Days Civic Association, lasted from Friday to Saturday.

Other activities during the festival included a car show, live music and dance performances, and a showing of the movie “Monsters vs. Aliens.”

Moon said the festival added a boost to the community by bringing Santa Clarita residents together.

“There are a lot of people here,” Moon said. “It gives people far and wide an opportunity to come and enjoy Castaic.”

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