FARMINGTON – Joy Welch, head of housekeeping at Sandy River Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, will throw 288 ducks in the water at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30.

The ducks will race down Wilson Stream in a mad dash to raise funds for the Eden Alternative at the center.

The yellow ducks, decked out as pirates or sports figures or graduates, will float downstream about a half mile.

Each one is numbered, and costs $5 to launch. First place will earn the winner $500, and last place, $40.

But what Welch really wants is to make some money for the Eden Alternative, a program that focuses on supporting residents in an environment that includes children, pets, plants and other living things, and so combats loneliness or boredom.

“We host fund-raisers for Eden several times every year, and this seemed like a fun way to support the program. Each duck bet is $5, and if we have a bet on each number, we’ll clear more than $1,000 for Eden,” said Welch. She plans to retrieve the ducks and use them again.

Ducks are still available for betting. For more information on the Great Duck Race, to reserve a duck or find out more about the Eden Alternative or Sandy River Center, call 778-6591. Sandy River Center is part of Sandy River Health System, a group of senior health care communities across the state.

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