By Skyler Jennings
Rubber ducks will race down the San Marcos River April 13 to raise money for the San Marcos Youth Service Bureau.
The Duck Dash, hosted by Leadership San Marcos Class of 2018, will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the San Marcos Lions Club.
Jennifer Rogers, a member of Leadership San Marcos Class of 2018, said the organization will sell rubber ducks for people to race down the river in a track constructed by the San Marcos Fire Department.
“We’re selling ducks for $5 a piece, and each duck that we have is numbered,” Rogers said. “All of the ducks will be dropped into the water at once. The first five ducks to arrive at the destination are the winners, and there will be prizes awarded.”
Rogers said the raised funds will be given as a donation to the San Marcos Youth Service Bureau, a nonprofit organization that started in 1975. The bureau’s mission is to assist youth in Hays County communities in becoming contributing members of society.
Program director Julie Hollar said the organization works with those between 11 and 17 years old. Hollar said the bureau has 20 to 35 volunteers who work with 80 to 90 kids annually in afterschool and summer programs. The primary focus is to get them involved in the community.
“We try to instill in our kids the feeling they get of serving their community,” Hollar said. “We also provide a lot of educational tools and knowledge for them to make better choices. We want them to graduate from high school and become productive citizens.”
Hollar said members talk to the kids about college and bring in Texas State University students to mentor them.
“We talk college every day so the kids kind of know some of the things to expect when they go to college,” Hollar said. “We all work and volunteer together.”
A key aspect to their volunteer work is transportation, something Hollar said hasn’t been updated since the ‘70s. The program’s annual budget of $77,000, comprised of donations and grants, hasn’t afforded them the chance to buy new vans.
“We don’t want to get stuck on the road with a van full of kids in the middle of summer,” Hollar said. “I want to be able to show them things and take them places. We need safe travels.”
Jacob Campbell, a member of Leadership San Marcos Class of 2018, said the organization is a network of young professionals that get together to learn more about the community.
“Every class that comes through is charged with completing a project that somehow impacts the community,” Campbell said. “We figure out where there is a need in the community, and we host fundraisers such as the Duck Dash to support our cause.”
Those interested can purchase ducks online to participate in the race and donate to the San Marcos Youth Service Bureau.