The volunteer group, Franklin Young Professionals (FYP), hosted their inaugural Macon Waves Ducky Derby event last Saturday to benefit the FYP Scholarship Fund. In conjunction with the North Carolina Big Sweep and the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, volunteers gathered at the Greenway's Big Bear Park to pitch in.
The event started with community volunteers who braved the Little Tennessee River Saturday morning to remove debris and trash from the river banks. The river clean-up is part of a state-wide initiative known as NC Big Sweep. The Macon County leg of the Big Sweep is organized each year by Guy Gooder and the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.
With a hoard of community volunteers, including eight members of FYP, this year's clean up netted 1.1 tons of garbage. From fast food trash to tires to an old air compressor, volunteers worked together to beautify Macon County's waterway.
After completing the Big Sweep, members of FYP began an afternoon of fun, entertainment, games and food for the first annual Macon Waves Ducky Derby. After selling 738 ducks, tickets for games and food on Saturday and receiving donations toward the end goal, FYP President Mandy Lail reported the group raised $4,000. “The money will go towards the FYP Scholarship Fund and a portion to the Greenway,” said Lail.
“We are so happy with the outcome of Saturday. Our goal was to not only raise money for our scholarship fund but to also bring awareness to the Greenway,” noted Lail. “I believe we succeeded on all levels. On behalf of FYP, I would like to thank all who participated in helping us accomplish this. We are so lucky to be part of a community that recognizes our efforts as young community leaders and who are helping us pave the way for more to come.”
Organizations throughout Macon County chipped in to donate the 23 prizes that could be won from purchasing a duck. The first place prize of a one night stay donated by Old Edwards Inn and a $25 Visa Gift Card donated by Lamplighter McCoy Realty, was awarded to Joel Swafford, whose duck won the quarter mile race down the Little Tennessee.
The second place prize of a one night stay in Pigeon Forge cabin “Fly Away," donated by Jennifer Turner-Lynn and Tim Lynn, and a $50 Visa Gift Card donated by Tek Tone was awarded to Cheryl Rogers.
“There were 21 other prizes which included gift certificates and items from local businesses,” said Lail. “These were all listed on our sponsor banner.”