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Sorority members sold $5 tickets for a rubber duck so that on the day of the race ticket-holders could match their ticket to the winning ducks.
“I thought this would just be a really great and enjoyable way to celebrate the end of the semester and to raise money for a great cause,” Fort Worth junior and Tri Delta philanthropy chair Claire Allen said.
More than 400 students and members of the Waco community were at the marina to watch the spectacle and four people walked away winners, as their rubber ducks floated across the finish line first.
The first place prize was an iPad and the remaining prizes were a collection of gift cards from sponsors such as Katie’s Frozen Custard and Harts N Crafts.
It took the ducks about 20 minutes to float across the marina. Many of them failed to move at all when they were first placed in the water.
Liberty freshman and Tri Delta member Kathleen Bean was holding the winning ticket for the iPad, but the prize wasn’t hers to keep.
“This is my boss’ ticket,” Bean said. “He didn’t believe me when I called to tell him he won.”
Although Tri Delta gave away several prizes, they walked away winners themselves with a large donation for St. Jude’s hospital.
According to Allen, the organization raised $7,200 with ticket sales alone and continued to raise money with “Delta Duck Races” T-shirt sales during the event.
Tri Delta has a long history of raising funds for St. Jude’s hospital, which is based in Memphis, Tenn.
The Tri Delta national organization has raised more than $21 million since their partnership with St. Jude began in 1999, according to St. Jude’s website.
The money raised at Wednesday’s event will be added to the national Tri Delta goal to raise $15 million in the next five years, an especially important goal for one Tri Delta who has a personal connection to St. Jude.
“One of my friends, sophomore year of high school was admitted to St. Jude,” Sunset sophomore Torie Abbot said. “He’s now cancer free so I really appreciate the work that St. Jude does and I love that Tri Delta has such an evident passion to raise money for them.”
As the marina guests watched the rubber ducks slowly pass, they enjoyed free musical entertainment by disc jockey Carter Rodman, a Minneapolis, Minn., sophomore.
“I was happy to do this because I know what St. Jude does and I’m happy to help them out and my Tri Delta friends,” Rodman said.
Allen said she was very happy with both the turnout and the amount raised for St. Jude. She hopes that Tri Delta is able to turn the duck races into an annual event.
“It’s so great to know that what we’re doing here is helping people far away to reach their dream of getting to celebrate their next birthday or getting to graduate and go to college and one day join a great organization like Tri Delta,” Allen said.