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Our View: Say ‘Yes’ to the duck this Saturday

Posted: October 26, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 26, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Here’s a riddle: What does a duck have to do with health care for Santa Clarita Valley residents who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it?

Hint: It has nothing to do with Aflac.

Answer: The Rubber Ducky Regatta, scheduled Saturday at Bridgeport Park, raises money for the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers Inc., which provide low-cost, quality health care to Santa Clarita Valley residents who are uninsured or under-insured.

Increasingly, patients seen at the three Samuel Dixon centers — one each in Newhall, Canyon Country and Val Verde — are victims of the recession, middle-class residents who have lost jobs or whose jobs don’t offer employee-provided health care, organizers of the fundraising event said recently during a Signal Editorial Board meeting. Many patients seen are students without insurance.

The need is great. An estimated 25 percent of Santa Clarita Valley residents lack health insurance, event organizers said. Last year, the centers combined had 11,000 actual patient visits. That’s up from 8,000 in 2010.

The Canyon Country clinic is operating at capacity, booking patients a month and a half in advance.

Enter the duck.

The Rubber Ducky Regatta — aka the Rubber Ducky Festival, in its 10th year this year — is one of a handful of fundraisers designed to offset the cost to patients for visiting Samuel Dixon health centers.

It’s an event designed to welcome all community members, with the price tag for participation as little as $5. Enjoyment of the festival itself is free.

For just $5, families or individuals can “adopt” a rubber ducky, which will be entered in the ducky race. Prizes range up to a $2,500 gift certificate for Southwest Airlines.

“All proceeds go directly toward patient care at the nonprofit organization’s three health centers,” noted Matt Gunderman, chairman of the festival and director of health economics at Boston Scientific, the primary sponsor of the festival.

We urge our readers to attend the festival, which runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., to enjoy the sunshine, activities — and adopt a duck.

Say “yes” to the duck.

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