Friday, 11 May 2018 05:34

Tickets sales start for 30th annual Southwest Crisis Services Duck Derby

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Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault buys duck derby tickets from Southwest Crisis Services Community Relations Coordinator Brenna Ekstrand, May 3. Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault buys duck derby tickets from Southwest Crisis Services Community Relations Coordinator Brenna Ekstrand, May 3. Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post

Tickets for the 30th annual Southwest Crisis Services Duck Derby went on sale on May 3 during a kick-off event on the sidewalk in front of Innovation Credit Union in Swift Current.


People were able to enjoy a bowl of chili and a bun while also purchasing tickets for the duck derby on June 3.
The duck derby has become a popular annual tradition in Swift Current that takes place in association with Innovation Credit Union's Picnic in the Park at Riverside Park. People buy tickets for numbered plastic ducks, which are then dropped into the Swift Current Creek to float down to the finish line at Lee Lam bridge.
“This year we're going to make an even bigger splash,” Southwest Crisis Services Community Relations Coordinator Brenna Ekstrand said. “Our old ducks were just getting a little old and worn out, and needed some new life breath into them. So we acquired some new ducks and they're about two to three times as big. So the duck derby will be a bigger splash and they should move a little faster down the creek. It should be fun.”
Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault was present at the kick-off to buy the first ticket for the duck derby. Ekstrand felt it worked well to have the event at an outdoor venue to attract some public attention for the upcoming duck derby.
“We're doing the chili kick-off just to try to build some excitement and hopefully people would ask what duck derby is and buy their ticket,” she said.  “It was awesome.”
The duck derby is the main fundraiser for Southwest Crisis Services every year and they are hoping to repeat last year's success.
“Our goal this year is to make the duck derby bigger and better,” she said. “Last year they got some real momentum going and we just want to continue that this year, even just in the aspect of getting the community support and awareness of what we do.”
Ticket prizes are $10 for one duck or $20 for three ducks, which will increase the odds of having a winning duck.
There is also a 50/50 raffle. The raffle tickets are available at $5 per ticket, $10 for 5 tickets or $20 for 20 tickets. The 50/50 draw will take place after the duck derby race on June 3.
Duck derby tickets can be purchased at Innovation Credit Union advice centres or online at www.swcrisis.ca.
Swift Current Kiwanis Club members are also selling tickets at two locations in the city. They will have tickets for sale at Pioneer Co-op Marketplace on Fridays and Saturdays and at Pharmasave on Thursday afternoons. On the day of the race tickets can be purchased until 3:30 p.m. at the Southwest Crisis Services tent in Riverside Park.
Six themed prize packages can be won at the duck derby. The total value of these prize packages are over $3,800.
“We're continuing with the same sort of themes as last year,” Ekstrand said. “We have two in self care, two in date night and two in family. So the winner of the first duck will get to pick whichever prize they want and it will go down from there. All of our prizes are made up of donations from our community partners, and so we're able to have a successful event because of our community partners that donate prizes for us.”
Funds raised from the duck derby will be used to deliver programs and services in support of children, youth, adults and families.
Southwest Crisis Services provides an emergency safe shelter and support services to women and children at risk of or experiencing abuse. The shelter is a safe and secure environment where women and children can live for four to six weeks.
During 2017 the organization provided shelter and support to 51 women and 32 children, which was equal to 1,462 nights of stay. In addition to shelter and food, they are also offered emotional support, information, referrals, transportation and advocacy.
Other services provided by Southwest Crisis Services include a 24/7 crisis help line, individual and couple supportive counselling, group empowerment programs, as well as prevention education workshops and events.
Each month the outreach program reaches over 90 people who access one-on-one and couple supportive counselling and participate in group empowerment programs.
Last year Southwest Crisis Services support workers have responded to over 1,163 crisis help line calls and they have made over 750 referrals. This was a 25 per increase in calls over the previous year.
Southwest Crisis Services Executive Director Heather Lennox said funding remains a significant challenge for the organization.
“We know that our Ministry of Justice funding is going to be status quo for the next three years,” she mentioned. “So zero, zero and zero per cent increase and everything else goes up.”
Fundraising events such as the duck derby therefore becomes even more important to the organization.
“It's very important for awareness too, so that people know to use our services,” she said. “We do have tons of user services. ... There's an increasing use of services and we know that one in three people in Saskatchewan encounter interpersonal violence and abuse. It's pretty high.”
For more information about Southwest Crisis Services or the duck derby, visit their website at www.swcrisis.ca

Read 327 times Last modified on Friday, 11 May 2018 09:35
Matthew Liebenberg

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