By DAN WHITTLE
What's that "quackin'" sound?
On behalf of the community, the Murfreesboro Post's "quack" news team is trackin' the quackin' to the annual Duck Derby's new pond, to wit, the Murfreesboro Sportscom…that hopefully, will be awash with new donated funds to benefit Rutherford and Cannon Counties' Child Advocacy Center.
"Queen of Quack" Kristin Demos has been depositing duck steps all around, advertising the good that donated duck money does in benefitting children, by protecting their rights in legal court and custody matters.
For example, you can't step in Demos Steakhouse without stepping on a biggo "Duck Foot Step," advertising the Duck Derby scheduled to float to a finish May 18, following a series of quacking promotion events throughout the community.
Mrs. Demos was asked what it's been like to wear the designated "Queen of Quack" crown the past seven years, raising money to combat child abuse in Rutherford and Cannon Counties.
"Wearing that crown is the fun part, a part of the campaign that husband Peter says is the perfect title for me, but I'm sure he's not speaking of my mouth in relation to quacking," the Queen quacked.
But then, the Duck Derby chairwoman got serious…very serious about the campaign.
"I brought the Duck Derby race to Murfreesboro seven years ago, and I can't say enough about the volunteers and good-hearted individuals and corporate donors who trigger the funds that go the Child Advocacy Centers," Kristin confirmed.
"We live in a very blessed community, so many people don't realize we have child abuse in Rutherford County," Kristin added. "In the past 13 years, for example, just in our county alone, there have been more than 8000 cases of child abuse.
"So you can see the vital need we have in raising funds to help fight child abuse, through the Child Advocacy Center," the Quack Queen added.
The Child Advocacy Center provides services to victims of child abuse, child sexual abuse and drug-endangered children while working with the Department of Children's Services, law enforcement and the District Attorney's office.
"Being in the perimeter of law enforcement for a number of years I have seen the positive results the child advocacy center does, in protecting the children that cannot protect themselves. Located here in the old jail in Woodbury, the support through the duck derby is vital and they are always in need for operational money to continue to protect children," said Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick.
Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg did not hesitate to brag on the Queen of Quack and her duck-stepping devotees.
"Giving back to our community takes a lot of tireless work and devotion, so anytime we can encourage and support our charities and their volunteers, it's the right thing to do," Bragg said. "Kristin and her cast of volunteers have done great work in helping raise funds for child advocacy."
The Quack Queen is worried, however, leading into the final Duck Derby days!
"Our Duck sales are coming in slow, maybe due to changing our "pond" from Stone's River to Murfreesboro Sportscom, which means we had to move our campaign up a month, from June to May 18," Kristin noted. "Last year, we sold 6000 ducks that raised $75,000 for the Child Advocacy Center."
This year's Duck-tivities include a chance to win more than just the race: "All 'duck-tivities' are set to begin sharply at 1 p.m. when our ducks will line up for competition. Our slogan this year is 'Adopt Some Ducks…and win $5000 bucks.'"
There's more for Kristin to "Quack" about: "Join us for the first annual DUCK-0-LYMPICS FOR Big Quackers (adults) and Little Quackers (children) to compete for the coveted 'Strongest Quacker of the 'Boro.' These competitions include hula hoops, a 3-legged webbed foot race, kettle bell competition and much more, not to forget the Big Quack-O-Bunga Slide there at pool side."
All Duck-tivities are set from 1-4 p.m. with the Corporate Quack-Off at 2:30 p.m. The winner's race is set to begin at 3:33 p.m.
Persons needing more information can call the Child Advocacy Center at 867-9000.