Annual fundraising event for child abuse prevention programs moves online

One of the economic side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the disruption of important fundraising events for non-profit organizations, fundraisers that non-profits greatly rely upon for running day-to-day operations and programs.

Many are doing the best they can, moving fundraising events online whenever possible.

And while the annual Ducky Derby & Family Fun Fest has proven to be both a valuable fundraiser and family-friendly destination every year, the CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region, which works to prevent child abuse and neglect, is making do with what they can.

'During COVID, reporting child abuse and neglect has gone down statewide. But we know it’s not because abuse is down.'

- Emily Yeager, CAN Council president & CEO

The 2020 Ducky Derby & Family Fun Fest is now a six-day online event. It’s still fun and still important, but virtual.

"We’ve taken what used to be the family fun component and tried to include both the child abuse prevention message and the fun via Facebook," says Emily Yeager, president and CEO of CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region.

Beginning Mon., Aug. 10, the CAN Council will use its Facebook page to spread messages of child abuse prevention, such as sharing tips for car seat safety and reporting suspected child abuse. They’ll balance that with jokes and coloring events for children. Jolt Credit Union is sponsoring the events.

The big event occurs Sat., Aug. 15: The Ducky Derby.

Though the location remains secret so as to prevent people from showing up – the race will be streamed online – the essence of the event remains the same.

The general public is invited to purchase rubber ducks from the CAN Council website. The money generated will then go toward CAN Council child abuse prevention programs.

The ducks themselves will be placed in the water for the Ducky Derby, where they’ll race to the finish line. The top three ducks will net their purchasers $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and a gift card for third place.

"During COVID, reporting child abuse and neglect has gone down statewide. But we know it’s not because abuse is down. It’s because people are locked in their houses with no one to report [suspected abuse]," Yeager says.

"Parents are in more stressful situations and kids are stuck at home.

"We knew we had to have this event. We put our heads together really quickly and figured how we can make this happen. So we reached out to our friends. The region has really stepped up."

Visit CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region online for more information on this year’s Ducky Derby.

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