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Santa Cruz Quacky: Ducky Derby

Thousands of yellow rubber birdies'll help raise funds for scholarships.

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    Thousands of yellow rubber birdies'll help raise funds for scholarships for area students on Saturday, April 25.

    BE MESMERIZED: There are many beautiful ways to raise money in this world, for a bevy of community- and individual-enhancing goals and purposes. And while all are important, not every event is quite as mesmerizing as the annual Ducky Derby hosted by Omega Nu. The Santa Cruz happening, which quacks boldly into its 25th year in 2015, is hosted by a philanthropic organization with longtime ties to the area, an organization that has raised well over a million dollars for scholarships ("(t)otal scholarships funded since 1957 is over $1,307,000"). Such a good thing indeed, and the rubber duck race is behind a lot of those dollars. Could it be because, as least in small part, it is hard to look away from thousands upon thousands of brightly hued birds racing along the waves? While you try to follow the ones you believe to be yours? Though knowing that when over 12,000 rubber ducks are involved, following a single faux fowl along its quick journey is pretty much impossible? Yeah, it is mesmerizing all right, and that easy-to-watch, easy-to-give spirit'll be back, at Friendship Gardens in Harvey West Park, on Saturday, April 25.

    SPONSOR A DUCK: While getting in to watch the merry madness costs zero dollars to all observers, buying a duck to back -- and thus supporting Omega Nu's education-nice programs -- does cost. Oh, hold the duckie: You actually adopt a duck, not buy, and the cost is five dollars for one (though if you adopt more ducks, you find savings, aka six ducks for twenty five bucks). You can go the online route, if you can't make it that day, but you'll make it, right? Because a sweet carnival, the eating of food in the sunshine, and the traditional staring-at-thousands-of-rubber-duckies moment all tantalize. And are there prizes? Oh there are, including hotel overnights, restaurant gift certificates, and beauty treatments. Wouldn't it be amazing if you purchased but one duck and that little guy won? It could happen, but more amazing than that is helping Golden State students move forward in their learning. That the two dovetail -- er, ducktail -- so nicely, in Santa Cruz, on one springtime Saturday, is a bonus.