The Alex Theatre was crazy about ducks on Friday.
The Glendale Kiwanis kicked off their fundraising efforts at the theater for the fourth annual Kiwanis Incredible Duck Splash event Oct. 18 at Lake Glendale in Verdugo Park.
Participants donate $5 to the Kiwanis club to adopt a rubber duck to race at the event.
Money raised from the duck race will help pay for Glendale sports, school and hospital programs, including nonprofits and charities, Kiwanis’ event chairman Ron Baker said.
“The money goes right back into the community,” he said.
At least 100 Kiwanis and community members gathered inside the theater to celebrate the event launch.
Some people in attendance wore yellow clothing and caps.
Mayor John Drayman applauded the group’s efforts to raise funds for nonprofits and charities.
No other event in Glendale, he said, has “30,000 ducks racing for the gold.”
Nine groups were given the task to sell the ducks and raise funds, Baker said.
Participants aren’t given the ducks until the day of the race.
The first-prize winner of the race will be awarded $10,000, and second to fifth place winners will get $1,000 each.
The nine fundraising groups sang during Friday’s events in the hopes of getting people to donate to their group.
The groups were Quackdaters, Quackdutors, Moby Duck team, Lucky Duckies, Bill Me Now, the Duck Splashers, Dapper Ducks, Kiwanis Quackers and Daffy Ducks.
So far this year, the Kiwanis has raised $60,000 in sponsorships just for the duck race, Kiwanis’ sponsorship committee chairman Ron Youra said.
Disney donated $10,000 to the event, making it the first contributor in the event’s history to be a platinum sponsor, he said.
Last year, people adopted 20,000 ducks. This year, Youra said the organization is hoping to sell 30,000 ducks.
A screening of “American Graffiti” at the theater this summer raised $5,000 for the duck race, said Elissa Glickman, director of marketing and resource development at the Alex.
The money raised from the duck race will go to programs that “provide great experiences for children that probably wouldn’t have that opportunity,” Kiwanis member Anna Marie Piersol said.
Kiwanis member Jennifer Swain designed this year’s event logo of a duck wearing sunglasses and riding a wave on a surfboard.
To adopt a duck, visit local participating stores to pick up a donation form, or go to www.ducks4kids.org.