Meet the flockers

Last year, as part of the inaugural Cabarrus Ducktona Dash, more than 3,000 rubber ducks raced to help raise $26,000 for two local nonprofits.

This year, 4,000 ducks will race as part of the second annual joint fundraiser for the Community Free Clinic and Cabarrus County Meals on Wheels.

To help spread word about the event, organizers are using a dozen 12-inch rubber ducks to "flock" residential and commercial locations. A sign accompanies the ducks, saying "You've been Lucky Ducked."

Smaller, racing ducks can be "adopted" for $5 a piece May 1-26. The race will be June 4 at Camp T.N. Spencer in Concord. Cash prizes range from $250-$750.

Flocking is similar to the adolescent prank of littering someone's yard with toilet paper, though it's not as messy, is only done with permission and is for a good cause. People can have the ducks sent practically anywhere for $35.

"We hope to raise not only money but awareness for these organizations and this event," said MOW board member Darci White, a volunteer who also serves on a variety of committees and has driven the same Friday route for six years. "The 'flocking' is a fun way to do this in a very visible way. It will be hard to miss a dozen bright yellow ducks sitting in your yard and not ask what it is all about."

White has lived in Concord for 13 years and is married to commissioner Jay White and they have three kids.

"The Ducktona Dash is just a fun event," said White. "When you put a rubber duck race, food, games, kids and craft vendors together, it adds up to a day of fun."

The first joint fundraising race was at Frank Liske Park in a course made from Styrofoam noodles that corralled the ducks into a V-shaped shoot. The ducks were propelled through the 100-foot course in about 20 minutes with the help of nearby paddle boats.

This year's race will take place in a spillway and the ducks will travel from an upper pond to a lower pond. Organizers expect a 20-30 minute race and ducks will again be funneled into a V-shape finish, where only once can pass at a time.

The Ducktona Dash is a new event that replaced the clinic's multi-day Holiday House fundraising events.

Lucky, the event mascot, also is visiting well-known places throughout Cabarrusto promote the event. The public can follow his adventures on Facebook.