Hedrick came up with the idea for a duck race in 2009 after hearing about a similar event in a neighboring community.
“I heard about it from a lady in Baldwinsville,” she said. “I believe it’s the Rotary Club in Baldwinsville that does it. Right in back of the church is this creek. I thought it was interesting. They did it on Seneca River, and I thought if they could do that on the river, why couldn’t we do it on the creek?”
Hedrick and the rest of her committee called a meeting of community leaders and asked for their support. While skeptical, they agreed to promote the event. Hedrick herself took on the responsibility of raising the bulk of the money.
“Another lady and I from the church, we did so very well, just pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, asking people for donations for prizes,” she said. “Once we got our prize money, you kind of breathe once you get that prize money. After that it was restaurants donating meals and all kinds of things. And then last year we did it again.”
Those early skeptics weren’t so doubtful anymore, Hedrick said.
“People said I was crazy to start with, but now, they’re always asking me when this year’s event is. It’s created quite a bit of interest.”
In fact, the fundraiser has been so successful that the Food Bank of Central New York has asked Hedrick for advice.
“When the Food Bank had their conference this year, they asked me to speak on fundraising, and when I told them how much we raised last year, we raised $25,000 last year selling little plastic ducks – would you believe that? – they gasped,” Hedrick said. “They couldn’t believe we could raise that much money. We start in April or May, and I have a great committee and a lot of very generous people.”