Kiwanis Duck Splash Raises Funds for Kids


Kids help gather the rubber ducks after the race on Saturday.

Chantal Bevard, El Vaquero Staff Writer

Thousands of rubber ducks crowded Verdugo Park on Saturday as the Kiwanis Club of Glendale hosted its eighth annual Incredible Duck Splash to raise money for local community projects.

The Kiwanis club helps raise money for community youth programs. The Glendale chapter was founded in 1922 and now has more than 200 members. The club meets every Friday at noon at the Glendale Elks Lodge.

“It’s important to support our community and to make good friends,” said Kiwanis Incredible Duck Splash Coordinator Vincent Espinoza.

In addition to sponsors, rubber ducks were adopted for $5 and then raced in Lake Glendale, a man-made raceway that consists of two lakes, an upper and a lower, along with a stream that connects them. Lake Glendale is made from tarps and barriers and is filled by the Glendale Fire Department.

The Kiwanis Club received donations from sponsors such as Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, Glendale Adventist Medical Center and the City of Glendale.

The rubber ducks raced in a series of four heats and then a final race to determine the winners.

Jose Sierra was the Quack Pack winner and won an iPad3. Tom Beck and Kathlyn Nishi took fourth and fifth place and won $500 each. Molly Hersch and John Pusa took second and third place and won $1,000 each. The first place winner was Matt Walton, who won $10,000.

Local families and groups adopted most of the ducks, but the first place winner was from Westport Connecticut and heard his name announced as the winner over the phone.

“It’s important to have these kinds of events because it brings the community out,” said Katie Valdes, a dietitian and mother of three boys.

Hundreds of people came to the park to show their support for the Kiwanis club as well as the other clubs present. A total of 17,000 rubber ducks traveled down Lake Glendale.

Local Kiwanis offshoots such as elementary school clubs, middle school clubs, high school key clubs and GCC’s Circle K International club, hosted carnival booths to help raise money for their clubs and the Kiwanis club.

“I feel it’s necessary to give back to the community,” said Movses Ter-Oganesyan, an English major and member of the GCC Circle K International Club.

The Circle K International Club hosted a bottle toss booth to help raise money.

“Priority one is the children,” said Glendale Kiwanis President Elect Mercy Velazquez. “We want to help and empower them.”

Many of the carnival booths at the Kiwanis event were aimed to entertain children of all ages.

“It’s very important to have events and programs like this so that our local community programs can be supported,” said Daniel Ruiz, a father of two. “In this economic state we need our community programs to be funded somehow.”

The rubber ducks were not the only animals present at the Verdugo Park on Saturday as the Glendale K-9 unit hosted their annual K-9s in the Park event as well.

The K-9s in the Park event included a pet adoption fair, animal races and a low-cost pet vaccination clinic.

For more information on the event, go to More information on the Kiwanis Club of Glendale can be found at