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Racing rubber ducks for charity

Maggie Seymour came up with a novel idea to fundraise for her local church.


MARGAREE – FOX ROOST – It would not be summer without a rubber duck race in Margaree-Fox Roost, a fun annual event and fundraiser. Maggie Seymour started the duck race in 2011 during the lead up to the 2014 Come Home Year on behalf of St. Augustine Anglican Church, which is located in and serves the community.

Those buying a ticket are assigned a numbered duck. Assisted by Matthew Sweet, the ducks would be put in the water, where chance, waves, and the always unpredictable elements carry them past the designated finish line. The first lucky duck across is declared the winner.

“Matthew Sweet was always the one who put the ducks in the water for me, because you had to have a canoe or a speed boat. Sometimes we would put it in the pond at Carter’s Pond, or if there wasn’t enough wind, we would take them up to the fish plant, and he’d take them off in the speedboat for me,” said Seymour.

In 2015, Seymour became aware that the church needed funding. Given the past success of the duck race during Come Home Year, she decided to give it another try.

“Apparently, we needed funding, we definitely needed it badly. So, I decided then to start the duck race again, for the church,” said Seymour.

The race this year took place near the fish plant, and the first-place prize of $100 went to Lorena Kendell, the second-place prize of $50 went to Arlene Lillington, and the $50 third-place prize went to Kye Bragg.

Proceeds from the race were donated to help fund the church’s operations. Beyond keeping the church running however, its roof is leaking badly, and there is also a need for new windows. With this in mind, Seymour is reaching out to the community for support.

“It’s going to cost a nice bit of money, but at least $17,000 anyway. Right now we have a little over $8,000 raised,” said Seymour.

Beyond the duck races, Seymour is hoping to host other events this month to help raise the necessary funds.

“Right now, we’re hoping to have a block party around the last of the month, and we’re hoping to have a few things there to raise money, like barbecues, a few games, and music and that,” said Seymour.

Seymour seems determined to do what she can to make it a successful event to help with the repairs. A part of the drive no doubt comes from a wish to honor Reverend Nathan Cutler, who passed away recently and had started the initial fundraising effort.

“We’re hoping to do all this in memory of him because he loved this church. He took sick very quickly,” said Seymour. “I was talking to his wife, Isabella. She’s a deacon too and they served together. For two years they were here. At that time, our little town was going through a difficult time. When they came, their smiles, their gentle voices, and kind words, it made a big difference to our people in the community and the church.”

Anyone who would like to contribute are invited to visit the Leading Edge Credit Union in Port aux Basques to make a donation to the St. Augustine’s Church Building Fund. Alternatively, donors can choose to drop off a donation in an envelope marked “Building Fund” at St. Augustine’s.

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