Above / First Community Financial Bank is getting a few of its duck racers in order for the Riverwalk Duck Race on Wed., Aug. 16.

First Community Financial Bank, located in Naperville Plaza, is the presenting sponsor of the 2nd Annual Riverwalk Duck Race slated to begin at 10AM Wed., Aug. 16. Immediately after trumpeteer Pete Ellman plays the trumpet call for the race, up to 2,000 numbered plastic ducks will be tossed into the DuPage River for a chance to be first to cross the finish at the Eagle Street Bridge and to provide the person with its number a grand prize of $1,981.

All proceeds will benefit the Riverwalk Foundation for education and enhancements along the winding brick path of the city’s natural treasure in the heart of the central business district.

With the bank’s generous support came 10 numbered ducks for the race and the bank’s idea to represent 10 different nonprofits with a duck to vie for the cash winnings.

The bank’s beneficiaries by the number will be 360 Youth Services (No. 1), Brightside Theater (No. 2), DuPage PADS (No. 3), Families Helping Families (No. 4), Little Friends (No. 5), Loaves & Fishes (No. 6), Naperville Responds for Veterans (No. 7), NCTV 17 (No. 8), Project HELP (No. 9) and Youth Outlook (No. 10).

Thanks to First Community Financial Bank, ducks entered in the Riverwalk Duck Race will represent Loaves & Fishes, DuPage PADS, NCTV-17, Little Friends, 360 Youth Services and five other nonprofits on Aug. 16.

“If one of our ducks wins, everyone wins. And, just as we planned last year, we’ll split the prize winnings, if any, among them,” said senior banker Mary Jane Leisten for First Community Financial Bank, soon to be Busey Bank, she noted when she introduced a brand new banner.

“One for all and all for one!” she added. “We are all lucky ducks to live in such a beautiful and generous community.”

Leisten said the 10 nonprofits are expected to join her with other spectators at the race to cheer for their ducks as they begin their float from the footbridge near Centennial Beach to the Eagle Street Bridge.

Meanwhile several of the organizations took a few minutes in the sunshine near the Riverwalk Dandelion Fountain on Thurs., Aug. 3, to help promote the cause.

Thanks for taking a quack at the Riverwalk Duck Race

The Riverwalk Duck Race begins from the footbridge near Centennial Park. A friendly Big Frog will greet spectators near the finish at the Eagle Street Bridge.

The Riverwalk Foundation appreciates everyone for taking a quack at the Riverwalk Duck Race in support of the community’s natural treasure.

Ducks are still available for the big, quick race that begins at 10AM Wed., Aug. 16. Last year the race to the finish took about 10 minutes.

A huge net will stretch across the DuPage near the Eagle Street Bridge to capture the plastic ducks (all rented from the Rotary Club of Oswego) for reuse next year.

Also, a friendly Big Frog, representing new sponsor Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More, will jump to join spectators along the DuPage River bank.

More than a fundraiser, this event is designed to heighten awareness about the community spirit put forth by volunteers to create a nature treasure for future generations in downtown Naperville. And nearly 36 years later, celebrating the winding brick path comes with an environmental message, “Don’t feed the ducks! Race them.”

To purchase a five-buck duck, a flock of five ducks for $20 or a family of 25 ducks for $100, visit www.riverwalkduckrace.com by Sun., Aug. 13, while the supply of 2,000 duck racers lasts.

Riverwalk for all seasons, all sorts of worthy causes

Let wildlife be wild by finding food in nature. Thanks.

Editor’s Note / From the Jaycees Last Fling (Sept. 1-4, 2017) to the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair (Sept. 16 & 17, 2017) to the Judd-A-Thon (Sept. 17, 2017) to all the other outdoor fundraising events that find a home along the Riverwalk, it doesn’t take long to tally millions of dollars raised for worthy causes since the first serpentine bricks were laid by local volunteers in 1981.

As the centerpiece for community events, concerts, walks and peaceful reflection just steps from shopping and dining in downtown Naperville, the Riverwalk is a natural treasure from the Jefferson Street Bridge to the Hillside Road Bridge. Thanks to all who care and support the Riverwalk. Celebrate the dedication of the Riverwalk every year on September 7.

VIDEO QUACKS / In 2016, NCTV17 created a little video production for the good sports at First Community Financial Bank! Watch “Gaffer the Duck” featured at www.riverwalkduckrace.com. And stay tuned for the sequel, now in production.