Duck Race A Quacking Success
By Keith Malone // May 18, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – The 14th Annual Great Brevard Duck Race was a “quacking” success – say the Crosswinds Youth Services organisation, who organise the event every year.
Thousands of rubber ducks were turned loose in the Indian River as part of the annual four-day Indian River Festival held at Sandpoint Park in Titusville.
Everywhere you looked, you could see people adopting rubber ducks to race for them, taking souvenir rubber duckies home to put in their bathtubs, wearing duck t-shirts and singing and dancing to duck songs!
Approximately 15,000 yellow rubber duckies – decked out with ultra-cool sunglasses – plummeted from the traditional Brevard Road and Bridge’s bright yellow dump truck into the water around 1pm on May 6 – and then they “raced” to the finish line to win prizes for their adoptive parents.
Crosswinds Youth Services
All proceeds from the Duck Race have gone to Crosswinds Youth Services, a not-for-profit organization which has been serving young people in Brevard County since 1974. When someone adopts a duck by donating $5, they receive a chance to win one of the prizes.
The Duck Race is supported through the generosity of numerous media agencies and corporations that underwrite the event including the WFTV 9 Family Connection and Partners.
Crosswinds Youth Services creates opportunities for young people to succeed, embodying the organization’s primary goal of helping young people strengthen skills, develop leadership abilities, and reach their full potential.
Crosswinds began in the 1970’s with a group of concerned community leaders who came together to discuss how Brevard County, Florida could respond to the increasing number of runaway and homeless youth in the community.
The tragic results of not helping these young people had become apparent when several graves were unearthed in the county. These graves contained the bodies of children who had run away from home and had been murdered.
Dr. Robert Lehton Long-Standing Volunteer
The initial group of community leaders responding to this terrible tragedy included judges, a county commissioner, and Dr. Robert Lehton, a psychologist, who brought to the table his experience counseling runaway youth and establishing the first youth shelter in the state of Louisiana.
Lehton is the Past Chair of Crosswinds’ Board of Directors, and the long-standing volunteer for whom Crosswinds’ shelter facility is now named.
Out of the efforts of this group of volunteers, the organization now known as Crosswinds opened an emergency youth shelter in 1974.
Over the years, Crosswinds has grown to include a wide range of programs and services for young people and their families.
In early 2002, Crosswinds opened a new and expanded emergency shelter in Cocoa, Florida, moving the program from Merritt Island, where it had been located for nearly 30 years.
Crosswinds administrative offices and other programs were also consolidated on the Cocoa campus to maximize resources and provide better accessibility to services for youth, families, law enforcement, and other community organizations.
Crosswinds has received national, statewide, and local recognition for outstanding service to Brevard County’s young people, including being this year’s recipient of the Melbourne – Palm Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit of the Year Award.
Crosswinds is committed to providing quality services and has been recognized nationally, regionally, statewide and locally.
Crosswinds was named 2003 Agency of the Year by the National Network for Youth, 2003 Organization of the Year and recipient of the Melbourne – Palm Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit of the Year Award in 2008.
Board of Directors
Crosswinds is governed by a group of dedicated local citizens including; Mitchell Goldman, Chair; Nina Gadodia, Vice Chair; Stockton Whitten, Treasurer; Sheriff Jack Parker, Secretary;Robert E. Lehton, Psy.D, Past Chair; Greg Crews, Director; Cynthia Handley, Director; Martha Kirby, Director; Alison Malone, Director; Charles Ian Nash, Director; Summit Shah, Director; Major Andrew Walters, Director; Shannon L. Wilson, Director and Jan Lokay, President & C.E.O.
• For information about Crosswinds Youth Services call 452-0800 ext. 100
• For information about the Great Brevard Duck Race call 321-452-0800
• For more information about the Indian River Festival log on to BrevardProductions.com