Rubber Duck Race to Support Craniofacial Care; Deadline to “Sponsor” Duck Is May 31

Everything is just ducky with an ongoing School of Dentistry fund-raising effort supporting the UNC-Chapel Hill Craniofacial Center.

Valerie Miller, office manager with the center, and her colleagues coordinated Rubber Duckie Day on May 16. Members of the School community showed their support by having their photo taken with a duck mascot, buying yellow silicone bracelets and “sponsoring” rubber ducks for the annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro Sunrise Rotary Club Rubber Duck Race on June 9. Duck “sponsors” win prizes if their ducks are among the first 13 across the finish line.

Fifty percent of the School’s total proceeds from the duck race go to support the UNC-Chapel Hill Craniofacial Center. Miller estimates that the two-hour May 16 event raised more than $500 – equivalent to 54 ducks.

Kakki Barnard, Jennifer Strickland, Valerie Miller and Sharon Gaillard of the UNC-Chapel Hill Craniofacial Center take the Rubber Duck Race motto of “Leave No Duck Behind” very seriously. Doug Pletcher, manager of the DISC Rotations Program, kindly volunteered as the duck mascot during the School’s Rubber Duckie Day May 16.

Those interested in supporting the School’s efforts may purchase ducks for $10 apiece, or $50 for six and $100 for 13 through May 31 by contacting Miller at Valerie_Miller@dentistry.unc.edu. A second Rubber Duckie Day takes place May 23 in the lobby of UNC Hospitals.

Ducks are available for “sponsorship” through May 31 for $10 apiece, $50 for six or $100 for 13. Yellow bracelets are $2 apiece. Half of the School’s proceeds benefit the UNC-Chapel Hill Craniofacial Center.

The race will take place at 11 a.m. June 9 at West Point on the Eno River by the Mill House, and visitors are welcome to attend. More than 10 area organizations are partners in this year’s effort, and between 1,500 and 2,000 ducks are projected to take a trip down the Eno during the race. Prizes include, but are not limited to, two round-trip coach tickets to any continental U.S. destination, dinner for two at area restaurants, dinner and a Durham Bulls game for eight, five days/four nights in Jamaica, and a picnic for 20 catered by Jim’s Famous BBQ.

“The Craniofacial Center serves a variety of patients, most of whom are children, and with a great spirit of teamwork. It is truly a team effort that can literally last over a child’s entire development, from birth to age 21,” Miller said. “Faculty, students and especially staff have shown wonderful support for the center’s mission through this great event, and that has made this effort so successful.”

The UNC-Chapel Hill Craniofacial Center is an interdisciplinary team of professionals dedicated to the care of the patient and family with cleft lip, cleft palate and other craniofacial anomalies. The team consists of School of Dentistry specialists from pediatric dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and orthodontics, as well as psychology and speech/language pathology. Team specialists from UNC Hospitals include surgeons from ear, nose and throat, plastic surgery and social work.

Patients are often referred for treatment to many other specialists in both the School of Dentistry and UNC Hospitals.