Ducks undressed for race

Gabriel Pacheco worked feverishly Friday, removing number tags from the bottoms of several hundred rubber ducks in preparation for this year’s Glendale Kiwanis Incredible Duck Splash fundraiser.

Pacheco and 50 other clients of the Glendale Assn. for the Retarded removed small silver tags on about 30,000 ducks and packed them inside dozens of blue plastic boxes, which will be shipped to the Glendale Kiwanis Club for the Oct. 18 event at Lake Glendale in Verdugo Park.

The Kiwanis Club will then place new number tags on the ducks that correspond to numbers given to people as they donated money.

Participants donate $5 to the Kiwanis Club to adopt a rubber duck to race in “Verdugo Lake,” which is created for the fundraiser.

Companies that want to sponsor the event pay $10,000 for diamond, $5,000 for gold, $2,500 for silver and $1,000 for bronze status.

Money raised from the duck race will go to the Kiwanis organization, which will distribute the money to causes that it deems worthy in the community.

Each nonprofit that sells duck adoptions keeps 50% of the proceeds, while the other half goes to the Kiwanis organization. Last year, 20,000 ducks were adopted. This year, the Kiwanis organization is hoping to sell 30,000 duck adoptions.

The first-prize winner of the race will be awarded $10,000, and second- to fifth-place winners will get $1,000 each.

This is the third year the Glendale Assn. for the Retarded has been hired to remove tags, said the association’s controller, Louis Peters. The association raises money for its programs by working on mailing, assembling and packing for businesses.

“I take off the tag and put it in the box and then do another one,” said Glendale resident Narina Torosina, 18. “It’s really fun.”

The clients were paid for every tag removed from the ducks, said Sharon Townsend Roth, director of the association’s foundation.

Pacheco, 31, of Burbank had taken off about 200 tags with a staple remover in about 20 minutes on Friday.

“I love ducks,” he said. “Quack, quack.”

To adopt a duck, visit local participating stores to pick up a donation form, or go to www.ducks4kids.org.


 VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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