Duck Race Brings Community Together for Good Causes
Many wouldn’t think to award a prize for last place. However, at Collinsville’s Duck Race the last duck is in part a remembrance to little Jay Thomas Patton who died before the second community Duck Race in 2011 after a four-wheeler wreck near his home in town.
Jay was only 6 years old when he passed, and a Jay Thomas Patton “Kids for Christ” Playground Fund was established in order to purchase playground equipment for the Collinsville First United Methodist Church, the Collinsville school and for South Park.
Throughout the day of this spring’s Duck Race on Saturday, May 16, children of all ages played on one playground built in his honor. Those who remember Jay have set the last duck as a remembrance of him since he wanted to be the last duck in the first ever Duck Race held in 2010.
With solemn faces, people in the town remember him and how tragic the accident was for taking a sweet little boy. Now, whenever someone wins the last duck in the community event or plays on any of the playground equipment dedicated to him, they remember him and honor who he was.
On a cloudy spring day, the community gathered again for this year’s Duck Race near South Park. Parks and Recreation sponsors the event to help raise funds to go toward playground equipment.
The 2015 Duck Race saw vendors like the Collinsville Historical Association and the local fire department participating to raise funds for their organizations. Vendors sold handmade crafts ranging from signs to bird feeders.
“The is the first time we’ve had vendors. They’ve tried to enlarge it this year and so they asked the Historical Association to get involved,” Martha Barksdale explained.
A Color Run before the event, and a local band, Still Kicking It, provided entertainment.
A sense of community and togetherness were present as everyone stopped by each tent to talk to each other and donate to the good causes of the town. Family members mixed and mingled as they caught up and began to watch their kids enjoy being out together.
When the duck race began around 2 p.m., a bin of rubber ducks was released into Little Wills Creek. The small ducks flocked together down the creek, with a few men helping them along as to not let them stay stuck in the weeds and rocks. Their safe travels were met at the end of the short race with a catching center made of pool noodles to pick the winner.
Jordan Coker won first place and received $500. Nine other winners received money and various other prizes.
Other winners were the vendors who raised funds for their organizations. The Collinsville Historic Association made $1,798 at the event.
“It’s a close-knit community. Everybody pitches in and does things around town,” said Rebecca Clayton.