South Mountain YMCA

Duck Race

This year, join the Y for a virtual Duck Race at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday May 25. Join the interactive “DuckCenter” via the South Mountain Y Facebook, Metro You Tube or South Mountain’s Instagram to cheer, waddle at home, and celebrate this race.

Anyone can sponsor a duck at the level that’s right for them, with funds supporting the local economy in addition to the Y.

“Local businesses in Maplewood and South Orange have supported the Duck Race with sponsorships and race prizes for over 20 years, and now it’s our turn to give back to them. This year the Y will commit 25 percent of Duck Race proceeds from our event to support SOMA small businesses,” said James Goodger, District Executive Director of the South Mountain YMCA. “Our small businesses are a critical piece of our community’s fabric, and we are committed to doing something to help them bounce back from this.”

The Y is collaborating with Special Improvement Districts of Maplewood Village Alliance, Springfield Avenue Alliance and the South Orange Village Center Alliance to garner the most impact.

Event proceeds will also benefit the Y’s programs and services during the pandemic that are focused on:

Community Connections: Enables the Y to provide and connect with local organizations to deliver:

  • Access to lifesaving programs like Blood Drives
  • Family and community resources that address food insecurity and basic needs of individuals and families less fortunate
  • Emergency Child Care for essential workers

Combat Isolation: As you fight to stay healthy and safe at home, we are providing ways to get connected with others and reduce anxiety:

  • Senior well checks and socialization activities
  • Mental and physical health and wellness through virtual program offerings that are FREE
  • Stress & anxiety relief for ALL ages

Academic Support: We are Providing resources and low-cost programs to support the continued academic learning of youth:

  • Virtual programs for children to combat learning loss from a disruption of structured school routine
  • STEAM based education
  • Provide families in need with free access to our Virtual Kindergarten Readiness Program

The South Mountain Y and its association, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, aims to raise $250,000 this year to support these efforts.

In 1998, Ellie Gianni brought this tradition to life and was known as the original “duck lady”.  She sat outside the Maplewood Stationers every year selling tickets for ducks. Ellie passed away in 2013. In past years,  the South Mountain YMCA  partnered with Kiwanis and is now thrilled to be host of this beloved tradition.


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