SPRINGFIELD, Va. (WDVM) — The second annual Duck Race to benefit non-profit Brain Injuries Services was held on Monday at Lake Accotink Park.
Pink and blue, large and small rubber ducks made their way towards the finish line in the Accotink River, all to raise money for veterans living with brain injuries.
“We have our rubber ducks that we literally drop into the stream, and the current will carry them down a couple of feet, and we have a finish line,” said Denise Hyater, executive director at Brain Injury Services.
Participants were able to purchase a variety of ducks — some in memory of a loved one, tiny colored ducks to sponsor pediatric services or a set of three veteran ducks. They ranged in price from $5-$250 dollars, with proceeds going towards rehabilitation services for those who served.
“The treatment plan can be life-long,” said Raisa Velez, a veterans case manager. “That is a big misconception that people think, that if you have an injury, you go to the hospital and you’re healed, but it’s very different when it comes to the brain.”
Nearly 300,000 Virginians are disabled as a result of a brain injury, and the number of cases in veterans continues to climb.
“We’re seeing an increase of veterans who may have served after 9/11, who may have been impacted by things like an IED or a brain injury while they were in service,” said Hyater. “We serve approximately 50 veterans, and we would love to be able to serve more.”
This year there were over 90 participants and over 200 ducks competing in the race.
To make a donation or learn more about Brain Injury Services, visit their website.