Ducks race for dogs in Vernon

Vernon Lions Club hosts Ducks For Dogs in race - all 4,000 ducks sold

Vernon’s own Ayden was able to get a service dog, Garbo, to help with his autism. (Contributed)

Vernon’s own Ayden was able to get a service dog, Garbo, to help with his autism. (Contributed)

Lions, ducks and dogs, oh my!

The Vernon Lions Club will hold its annual Ducks For Dogs rubber duck race and fun day in Polson Park Saturday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (the race is at 2 p.m.).

Ducks for Dogs allows members of the community to “adopt” a rubber duck for $5. The ducks are then dropped into a Vernon Creek in Polson Park and race to the finish line to win prizes for their adoptive parents.

A total of 4,000 ducks will be dropped in the creek, raising money for the B.C. and Albert Guide Dogs to provide another service dog for an autistic child.

The ducks have sold out and SilverStar Mountain Resort has matched every ticket sold with a $1 donation ($4,000). They will also be exhibiting at the event as will some of the other sponsors.

The day will feature family-friendly games, a fish pond, the Lions Club’s food truck on-site for lunch, the Kalamalka Caring Klowns and entertainment by the Vernon Community Band.

The Lions have invited William Thornton of B.C. & Alberta Guide Dogs and his dogs to once again lead blindfolded people through a maze to experience the sensation of being blind.

Service dogs provide help to persons requiring assistance with an ultimate goal of creating stability and self-reliance. There are many types of service dogs, trained specifically to assist persons with various disabilities: blind and visually impaired, autism support dogs for children with profound autism and PTSD service dogs for veterans and RCMP.

It takes $35,000 to raise and train these dogs for specific needs, and the Lions are hoping to raise enough for a dog for a Vernon boy with autism.

The club was also to sponsor Garbo after its last duck race.

“Garbo has made a profound difference for a little five-year-old autistic boy and his family right here in Vernon,” the Lions said.

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Annual fun event, hosted by the Vernon Lions Club, raises funds to bring a service dog to an autistic child in the North Okanagan. (Contributed)

Annual fun event, hosted by the Vernon Lions Club, raises funds to bring a service dog to an autistic child in the North Okanagan. (Contributed)