Even without boat, Duck Derby a success
My heart sank when I picked up last week’s Jamestown Press only to see the caption “Duck Disaster” printed in bold letters on the front page. While I’m sure these words were just an attempt at humor to highlight some comical mishaps that will leave us chuckling for years to come, I wouldn’t want anyone who wasn’t there to think for one second it was anything less than a tremendous success.
The derby was the culmination of months of hard work by the eighth-grade students backed by overwhelming support from families, friends and community members, and led by the incredibly dedicated Susan Baccari. The event itself was a festive combination of delicious treats, fun games and great company.
Yes, there were a few moments of panic when it was discovered that the boat that was to take the ducks to the starting line was dead. There were a few anxious glances when the amazing Andrea Brayman and Noah Simmons took it upon themselves to walk the ducks out by paddleboard to ensure that the race would happen. There were even nervous groans when it looked like half the duck flotilla was heading to Newport despite Andrea and Noah’s best efforts.
Our spirits soared, however, when – without coaxing, pushing or planning – the eighth-graders took it upon themselves to save the race. Fully clothed, they all ran into the water and saw to it that every last duck made it onto the “race track” and across the finish line.
It was in this action that the greatest accomplishment lay. In this we saw in our children a spirit of camaraderie and community support that we are all incredibly proud of and should all work to aspire to. Far from a disaster, it was a defining moment in the development of our children into caring and responsible community members who can rely upon one another and be relied upon in return.
So, while I’m sure no harm was intended, I felt it was important to assert that I, along with the other eighth-grade parents, see this event as a resounding success in every way. I have no doubt that the derby will be left in the greatest of hands with the young people of Lawn Avenue School.