Ever been to a duck race? It's fun and inspiring.
Last weekend, thousands of rubber duckies were dumped off a downtown bridge into Buffalo Bayou, the main waterway that flows eastward through the Port of Houston to the Gulf of Mexico.
|...and they're off!|
What's more fun on a sunny day than a family-friendly outing that's also a fundraiser for a good cause? This year, all proceeds for the event went to the Play it Forward Fund at AFAtexas.org. This marvelous group touches the lives of thousands of kids during the school year and in summer by providing music education for those who might otherwise have none, given our tight public school budgets these days.
Everyone near and far was invited to "adopt" a duck for $5, or simply come to the race and enjoy the music performed by AFA students, whose outstanding musicianship at such young ages is truly remarkable.
From the moment the ducks hit the water, the suspense built as the crowd tracked their progress downstream to the finish line. Adopters whose ducks finished ahead of the flock won great prizes that were donated by generous sponsors. The luckiest duck won $2,500 cash from a local bank.
The Master of Ceremonies was Len Cannon, a very popular news anchor here. I had the pleasure of assisting him as he called the race, charmed the crowd, and interviewed delightful young AFA musicians.
Those who've read The Body Next Door, Book 2 in my Samantha Newman Mystery Series, may recognize AFA's Play it Forward Fund. It was the inspiration for Let the Children Play, the fictional foundation created by Carter Chapman, Samantha's mysterious love interest. It's one of several scenes in my books where fiction meets real life.
This particular real-life group inspires me beyond my writing. It's a reminder that there are infinite ways we each can help enrich the lives of children. Houston's Bayou City Duck Race is just one of them. Here's hoping you've found a worthy cause or two in your own hometown to support.
Best of wishes to each and every one of you for
a Very Ducky Thanksgiving!
Gay Yellen writes the award-winning Samantha Newman Mysteries, including
The Body Business, The Body Next Door, and the soon to be released Body in the News.