The group, Franklin Young Professionals (FYP), is gearing up for the inaugural Macon Waves Ducky Derby event to benefit the FYP Scholarship Fund. The Ducky Derby is running in cooperation with the North Carolina Big Sweep and the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.
“At the end of our corporate year, members were given a survey in order to see what types of events they would be interested in participating in,” said Mandy Lail, FYP President. “Knowing that we wanted to hold an FYP 1st Annual Event of some sort, the new board met and discussed all ideas and suggestions.
As an organization, the decision of a ducky derby was agreed upon. FYP wanted to do something active in the community that would cater to a variety of people while also bringing awareness to the Greenway.”
The Ducky Derby, which will take place after the Big Sweep Cleanup on the Little Tennessee River on Saturday, Aug. 4, at Big Bear Park in Franklin, will feature fun and games for the whole family. Proceeds of the event will be used in different ways to give back to the community.
“Proceeds of our Ducky Derby will go to FYP Scholarship Fund,” said FYP member Bethany Ledford. “The first scholarship will be awarded to a Macon County student from the graduating class of 2013. A small portion of the funds will also be donated to the Greenway, since we are having the event at Big Bear Park.”
Ducks purchased by members of the community will be lined up to race down a quarter-mile portion of the Little Tennessee River. The top ducks in the derby will be awarded one of several prizes that range from a one night stay at Old Edward's Inn, to gift certificates from area businesses.
“I am looking forward to FYP bringing a fun new event to Macon County that is great for all ages and that anyone can participate in,” said FYP past president Ashley Hyder. “This fundraiser will help give back to the youth of Franklin and will also focus on one of our greatest natural resources, the Little Tennessee. I am hopeful that this event encourages people to get outside and to enjoy what Franklin has to offer.”
In addition to the Ducky Derby, FYP will be working with the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee and the NC Big Sweep, headed up by Guy Gooder, to volunteer for the annual cleanup of local waterways. “We will begin at 8 a.m. at Big Bear Park and disperse up and down the Little Tennessee River from there,” said FYP member Matt Bateman. “The cleanup will last until Noon. Trash bags, grabbers and wading boots will be available while they last. The Big Sweep is open to any volunteers willing to come pitch in, and we would love to have as many people as possible come out and help.”
During the Ducky Derby there will be games for all ages ranging from cornhole to ring toss, from a football throw to balloon darts. Some of the games will have prizes and others will be just for fun. The event will also have hot dog meals, snacks and pepsi products for sale.
“I hope by pairing up with the Big Sweep we will bring awareness to how important it is to keep our river clean and also how lucky we are as a community to have the Greenway,” said Hyder. “One of the greatest things about this fundraiser is that you do not have to be present to win, but we are hopeful to have a good crowd to enjoy the food and games the day of the event.”
FYP continues to come up with new events for the community while staying involved in volunteer programs such as CareNet's backpack program. “Our dedicated members have been working effortlessly to execute a successful event and are excited to put our name on something so positive,” said Lail. “Though we stay committed to the Adopt-a-Hwy program and the CareNET Back Pack program we continue to brainstorm new ideas of community involvement while at the same time providing a social and networking outlet for our members.”