Since the beginning of the Sundial Riffle Raffle event in Redding, the Rotary Club has received many stories from folks about how the proceeds from the program have helped them. We’ve saved some of these personal testimonials to share with you to let you see the impact the Rotary Foundation Against Substance Abuse has had on real individuals.

While the event has changed, the purpose has not.  These testimonials show how valuable these funds are to our local schools and youth groups.

My name is Rosalie McLearn and today I’ve been asked to share some of the benefits I’ve received from Ducky Derby funds. Before I do, however, I’d like to tell you a little about my life.
I’m one of three children who was being raised by a single mother. We lived in many places from state to state, but never in a home. In fact, most of the time we lived together in a van. During these years, my mother was diag­nosed with cancer three different times and each time we were told she wouldn’t live long. Finally, my brothers and I were taken from my mother because she was no longer physically able to take care of us. Since then I’ve spend the past 2 112 years in foster care. My younger brother and I were together in the first home for a while, and then he was unexpectedly moved to another home. After I landed in my second home, I was moved, reluctantly, to Mistletoe School in the sixth grade. Last spring, toward the end of my sixth grade year and after many court ap­pearances, all rights were terminated from my mother. My brothers and I faced more foster care and/or adoption.
You can see that with the childhood I’ve described there have been many opportunities fro me to have a nega­tive outlook on life. Many opportunities for me to go down the wrong path. My stable, consistent school environ­ment at Mistletoe is one reason I’m on the right path today. My teachers look for ways to provide their students with positive experiences that will last us a lifetime. In fact, last year I was able to spend three days and two nights at Shasta Lake where I learned so much about teamwork, camping-including putting up a tent, exploring Samwel Cave from top to bottom and then comparing that experience with Shasta Caverns. My mother would never have been able to offer me this type of experience. And, opportunities like these can’t be offered by public schools with­out a funding source. My Shasta Lake Research Expedition was almost totally paid for by funds raised through Ducky Derby. When kids like me are given these experiences, we are shown positive paths in a life full of negative ones.

So, I’d like to personally thank Rotary for making this fund raiser available to public school kids. I would also like to thank all of you kids out there. You probably don’t realize how much the money you raise for your groups means.
Sadly, I will miss my 7th grade class’ Ashland Shakespeare Festival Experience in May. However, I’m ok with that because my younger brother and I will become part of a family or our won. We are happily being adopted by a wonderful couple in San Diego.
I will never forget my time in Shasta County. My school, those who supported me and this community will always be with me. Thank you.

Rosalie McLearn

St. Joseph School has participated in the Ducky Derby for the past 3 years. Although the whole school par­ticipates, we earmark the funds raised for our 5th grade WES Camp fund. The Ducky Derby is so well known in the community that it makes it easy for our students to sell tickets. We so appreciate this event which enables our students to enjoy a week outdoors at Whiskeytown learning about nature and a healthy lifestyle.

Kollene Morrissey, 5th Grade Teacher, St. Joseph School

The Shasta High Choir Boosters have embraced the Ducky Derby as a fund raiser for the past three years. The students involved choose to do so because they are self driven and truly want to raise money for the special choir events. The money raised by our students has helped us send kids to Disneyland, a choral festival in Napa and will send students this June to Costa Rica. The students involved are working to raise their own funds, which has implications far beyond the actual trips and the activities we plan. These students are learning responsibilities and are taking a strong hand in their own lives.
The Ducky Derby has been a wonderful add it ion to our choir program’s fund raising efforts. I usually have 100 or more students take part in the fund raiser and we offer it to all the choir students at Shasta High School.
I feel very good about my efforts in chairing our Ducky Derby sales because with the Derby, a student can raise money through a recognized local fund raiser that people will want to support. Many of these stu­dents would never have the ability to pay for these trips on their own. The Ducky Derby allows all of our students a chance to participate in the Shasta High Choirs worthwhile programs.

Eva Moty, Shasta High Choir Boosters

Our Shasta Meadows JSN club has participated in the Ducky Derby since its inception! I haven’t stopped to calculate the amount of money our club has received from this unbelievable fundraiser. We’ve averaged at least $2,500 a year, so big bucks!
At Shasta Meadows, we are choosing to NOT have our entire school sell DD tickets. Our 5th graders in the Just Say No Club (JSN) are the only ones selling. The club consists of about 60 students with most students choosing to sell. The money raised goes towards a couple of different things. First, to help with the funding for WES camp, students earn $2 for every duck sold to help fund their cost. The rest of the money goes towards fun activities for our club, such as bowling, skating, waterworks, and videos to share at our meetings. We also use some of the money for community service, such as beautifying our school and sponsoring 10 kids of the Angel Tree at Christmas time.
Over the years our money has helped over 1800 students attend Whiskeytown Environmental School, a local environ­mental camp where our students learn our life science standards in an outdoor environment from highly qualified naturalists.
To support our JSN club, the money has helped us purchase videos and literature with a strong message about avoid­ing the dangers of drugs, staying drug free, and making good choices that we can live with in the future. The DD money helps fund our field trips to fun activities that show kids there are other things to do than choosing to do drugs. Not only does the money fund the busses, but it helps with the entrance fees to some of our destinations.
Our JSN club is also a service club, so we’ve used some of the money to help beautify our campus so that our students will be proud of their school. We’ve purchased sets of 6 decorative flags to hang up in our outdoor hallway that change each month. Our students look forward to each month’s change! Trees, plants and flowers have been pur­chased to improve our campus, also.
For the past 18 years, our club uses some of the DD money to help support 10 children in our area off the Angel Giving Tree at Christmas time. Our club sells Christmas candy grams to raise money to purchase gifts that these children \Viii enjoy on Christmas day. Over the years, we have sponsored 180 children!
So in short, each year our JSN club members benefit, Angel Giving Tree children benefit, and our school with 360 stu­dents benefits. Thanks for aII you do to support our schools with the Ducky Derby!

Pam Stephenson, 5th grade teacher, Shasta Meadows School

The Ducky Derby has allowed our six grade classes to experience Lassen Volcanic Park in person. Six grade science curriculum is all about Earth science focusing on earthquakes and volcanoes. Our money helps us to meet our transportation costs. We also take a trip to the Exploratorium in San Francisco and the monies raised help cover the costs of admis­sion and transportation. These experiences help to acquire a deeper understanding of the concepts we study. The money also helps to cover the cost of our transportation to our end of year honor roII field trip.

Jeff Walton, Parsons School

The Missfits Vandals D3 soccer team has 16 members and has sold ducky Derby tickets the last 2 years and used the money earned to pay tournament entry fees. This picture is from the Pleasanton Rage tourna­ment where they placed 2nd in the 14 year old division!!! Thank you Ducky Derby and Redding Rotary 🙂 Anderson Heights Elementary School; This is our first year and we got started late, but we did raise a little bit. Each class that raised money was able to keep it for their own class activities. First -third went on a field trip to the Cascade Theatre today to see the California Theatre Company put on the play Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The money raised covered the tickets for students that were not able to pay for their ticket. We took about 160 students. I’m not sure of the exact count of how many students benefitted from Ducky Derby, since I don’t know exactly how many paid. The kindergarten is using some of their money to purchase supplies for activities for Dr. Seuss’ Day and Read Across America in March.

Jacinda Hedges, Missfits Vandals