A large group of ducks will take over the West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center on Sept. 9, but visitors need not worry. These are the plastic kind, approximately 3,000 in all, and will be on hand for a good cause.

For the third straight year, the Rotary Club of South Gwinnett is hosting a Duck Derby to raise funds for the community. The club, which was founded in 1982, is known for its support of organizations such as the Lawrenceville Boys & Girls Club, Corley Elementary School and the Brookwood High School Interact Club.

Last year the club raised $13,000 from the duck race, and club leaders say they hope to eclipse that mark this year. The event starts at noon with pool games, food trucks and a DJ. The race will start at 2:30 p.m.

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Duck Derby participants pay for the right to adopt a duck, and the ducks are launched from a slide into the aquatic center’s lazy river. The first duck across the finish line wins $2,500 for its adopter, with second place winning $1,000 and third place $500.

To participate, it costs $5 for a single duck, $20 for five ducks, $50 for 13 ducks and $100 for 28 ducks. Thanks to sponsors, including diamond sponsors Hayes Automotive and the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Rotary Club to in turn give to local organizations.

Last year, the club used proceeds from the race to fund several projects, including restoring an outdoor classroom at Corley Elementary.

Corley Principal Ruth Tomlinson said she is thankful for the event and what the Rotary Club does for the community. Said Tomlinson: “Our students and school community are blessed to have (the club’s) support.”

To learn more about the race or to adopt a duck, visit www.gwinnettduckderby.com. Questions about the event can be emailed to info@southgwinnettrotary.org.

The West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center is located at 4488 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.

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