Big Brothers Big Sisters hosts annual Duck Derby


In a night of support and competitive fun, hundreds of people from the Hays community rallied together to donate their time and money to the Big Brothers Big Sister Serving Ellis County at their annual Duck Derby. 

Roughly 7,000 thousand ducks took to the Hays Aquatic Park lazy river as they floated to the finish line. Split into two heats, the first 500 ducks to cross the finish from each heat competed in the final championship duck derby race. 

On the line for those waiting to have their duck cross in the championship was $10,000 for first place. The second through tenth place ducks also received a different prize donated by a sponsor. 

While many come to watch in hopes of their duck crossing the finish line, 12 different businesses competed in Sink or Sail! Cardboard Regatta. Formed solely out of cardboard and duct tape, this friendly competition brought together the community as they cheered on the boats.

This year’s competitors were: 

High Plains Baptist Church, High Plains Farm Credit, Werth Wealth Management, LDI, Thirsty’s Brew Pub and Grill, Ellis County Emergency Medical Services, Truss Craft, Heartland Credit Union, Happy’s Auto, CloudStorage, Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, and Hays Fire Department.  

April Johnson of Thirsty’s Cardboard Regatta has annually participated in the race.

“It’s just a good thing for everyone in the community to come together and support (Big Brothers Big Sisters),” Johnson said. 

As for their boat, Johnson said they chose a Shrek theme because everyone who comes to Thirsty’s loved the blow-up Shrek that used to be hanging on their ceiling. 

“I think our boss loves to watch us embarrass ourselves on the boat, but it’s all fun watching something entertaining,” Johnson said.

Overall, this charitable night allowed Big Brothers and Big Sisters to continue their work of providing matches and resources for this community. 

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