WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The 11th year of the Youth Emergency Services & Shelter Duck Derby was a success.
Chief Executive Officer Stephen Quirk says approximately $250,000 was raised at the annual race.
“Many of these kids have come off of substantial trauma, so something happened and they can’t be at home. We want to honor the fact that if they can’t be at home, we want them to have a good experience with us. Maybe they need some therapy, maybe they just need some time away, and we just want to make it a good experience. We do a lot with food, we do a lot with recreation, and we’re always trying to get the children healthy,” said Quirk.
YESS provides services for children from birth through age 17, helping several thousand kids a year. The money helps the children receive art, music, and recreational therapy. This year, Quirk says they’re going to be offering a lot of outdoor adventure experiences. Quirk says they tell the kids every one of the 33,000 ducks that were released was for them.
Iowans who sponsored a duck say it’s a great way to help others in need.
“YESS is such a great organization to help families that may need assistance or kids that may not get what they need at home, so it’s really awesome to see what they can do,” said Daykota Shelton.
The winner of the race received a $10,000 cash prize.