Nonprofit quacks up a storm

Mesiah Allen, Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan member and 2015 Youth of the Year, plucks 10 winning rubber ducks from a pile of over 5,000 as the highlight of the nonprofit's Little Apple Duck Dash fundraiser at Tuttle Creek Pond on June 13, 2015.

Stormy weather didn’t stop the community from showing up for the Little Apple Duck Dash at Tuttle Creek Pond last Saturday. The event, which was Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan’s fundraiser, brought together games, food and prizes for local families.

The day of the event, and for months leading up to it, the nonprofit asked any who could to “adopt” one or several rubber ducks, each with a unique number. The original plan called for the ducks to be released into and raced through Tuttle Creek Pond. The first three winners were awarded with prizes like Vanier Football Complex tickets to a K-State football game with Coach Andre Coleman’s family, and a $500 gift card to Manhattan Town Center.

Rain clouds slightly altered the event, however. Instead of releasing the ducks into the pond, the nonprofit adapted and held a “duck pluck,” where the winning ducks were randomly chosen.

Leah Braet, Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan development coordinator, facilitated the event from start to finish. She said the organization was able to raise approximately $12,500.

“All the money raised goes to Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan,” Braet said. “We have vendors, we have face painting, food from Hy-Vee, we have Crosspoint Church doing all the inflatables, Meritrust is doing pictures and we have Duck Central with all the fun little games.”

Braet said that though the weather was a concern, she was happy with the large turnout.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but had it been a nicer day and not knowing whether it would rain or not,” Braet said. “I think (the turnout) is pretty good.”

The winning ducks were selected by Mesiah Allen, Boys and Girls club member and 2015 Youth of the Year, who said he enjoyed the games at the event.

“I’ve just been playing the beanbag toss and I did the javelin throw and I did the bucket jump,” Allen said.

This year is the first time the event was held. Carol Reinhardt, of Manhattan, brought her friend’s child to the event.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Reinhardt said. “And I wanted to support the Boys and Girls Club as well.”