The rubber duckies go to the starting line this year in 12 days.
Yes, it's time for the annual Rubber Ducky Race on Woods Pond on County Road just south of the Town Hall. The race got the official go-ahead from the Barrington Town Council last Monday night.
The annual fundraising event for the Barrington Education Foundation runs this year on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 2 to 4 pm. Race time is 3 pm. There is a rain date this year for the first time, Sunday, Sept. 30, said Julie Chalue, race chairwoman.
“It’s all coming together,” said Chalue. “We hope to hit 1,500 ducks this year. We had well over 1,000 last year.”
Here's how it works if you're new to the race.
You buy tickets at $10 each or 6 for $50. Each ticket purchased enters a bright yellow rubber ducky in the race. If your duck is plucked from the water after it floats across Woods Pond with an assist from a Barrington Fire Department hose, you win a prize. The first three ducks to make it across Wood’s Pond will be plucked from the water by Superintendent of Schools Mike Messore.
Prizes this year include an iPad3, a Kindle Fire with a $50 Amazon gift card, and an iPod Touch, said Chalue.
You can buy tickets on the day of the race up to 2:45 pm at the ticket table or you can purchase them online at www.barringtoneducationfoundation.org, from flyers being distributed throughout the schools, at the school Open Houses, and also at the Saturday morning farmer’s market at the Barrington Congregational Church.
If you buy online, send your ticket stubs with a check to BEF, 283 County Road, Barrington, RI 02806.
Of course, there will be much more to do than watching the ducks floating toward the finish line, said Chalue.
DJ Big Bill will provide music, there will be a blow-up slide and Minute-to-Win-It type games, there will be balloons and balloon animals, there will be face painting and tattllos, and there will be Del's lemonade, free popcorn, and Ducky cupcakes donated by The Sweet Shoppe.
“We trying to make it even more festive and fun,” said Chalue.
You might have noticed the banners and flags hung up around town, especially on County Road. They are new this year as well, said Chalue.
BEF was founded in 1992, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary of championing extraordinary education opportunities within the Barrington Public Schools, according to BEF. The non-profit organization has raised and awarded more than $930,000 to fund a wide range of programs, technology, and materials for the schools. Grants are awarded annually, providing a direct benefit for the enrichment of students in every grade and school in the district, according to BEF
BEF co-President Dara Iserson says, “BEF funds programs and items that are traditionally outside of what the district would cover. We focus on opportunities that are innovative and wide-reaching.”
Deanna Donnelly, the BEF co-president and a former Rubber Ducky Race chairwoman, added: “We are thrilled to be nearing the $1,000,000-mark in total grants to the Barrington Public Schools since BEF ‘s inception. It is a huge number, but such a testament to the support of our community and the dedication of our volunteers.
“This year, our largest fundraisers will be our Rubber Ducky Race and the BEF spring Telethon,” she said. “We are so fortunate to have support from our corporate sponsors, Jaffe Orthodontics, the Verizon Wireless Zone, and other local companies and businesses. We are thankful to have individuals that also contribute to BEF through our website as well as with their company’s corporate matching programs, and also through the United Way.
“With the support and generosity of our community members, we are able to make a difference in our schools,” Donnelly said. “So, to our many supporters and sponsors, a big thank you!’”